Less than 3% of charity trustees in the UK are under 30. This time last year, I became one of them.
I knew that I was stepping into uncharted territory, but I also knew that it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Nervous that I didn’t have the skills or experience necessary to join a board, I was reassured by the Chair and CEO that it is in fact a commitment to the cause, a passion for the mission, that is far more important and yet often harder to come by in potential trustees than an intimate knowledge of balance sheets or annual returns, (those things could be learnt).
Fortunately, I have the passion side of things well covered. Before becoming a trustee, I had already been drawn to support Kidasha for two big reasons:
Focus on Nepal
Firstly, because of their focus on Nepal, a country where I was fortunate enough to spend an unforgettable year of my life when I first left home at eighteen. The lessons I learnt from living halfway up a mountain on the other side of the world are innumerable and continue to shape the path my life takes. Nepal is a special country indeed, home to the tallest mountains and the best dal in the world. It is also one of the poorest countries in the world and yet, despite this, it often lacks international priority for support.
One of our big challenges as a charity is raising awareness of the profound need for support in the country, and in urban areas in particular, where recent rapid urbanisation means the dire needs of the urban poor are invisible in the statistical averages of “wealthy” cities. Almost ten years on from living in Nepal, it is special to have a continued connection to a country close to my heart through my role as a trustee. I cannot wait to go back in the coming years, meet Kidasha’s team on the ground and test out my (now very rusty) Nepali!
Doing Development Differently
The second reason I felt drawn to Kidasha is because they do development differently. We are a small charity making a big impact because we keep things local. Our Nepali team on the ground develops, pilots and scales up programmes directly in the community in partnership with local government and organisations. Our geographic focus means we have the experience, expertise and relationships in place to influence systems and create lasting change. I am proud to advocate for an organisation that is disciplined in its approach to understanding and meeting children’s real needs and values equity, honesty and humility. I value these things too.
“I am proud to advocate for an organisation that is disciplined in its approach to understanding and meeting children’s real needs and values equity, honesty and humility. I value these things too.”
– Rosie Hazeldine, Kidasha Young Trustee
As a young trustee, I have been incredibly welcomed and encouraged by my fellow board members. Naturally, there are times when I feel unsure about how best to contribute to a meeting or what question I should be asking. In those moments, I remember that I am at the beginning of what might become a lifelong trustee journey and I think about the sort of trustee I could be in five years’ time, in ten or in thirty, thanks to this early opportunity to gain experience.
I am very grateful to Kidasha for creating that space for me and my learning on their board. This is my first Trustee Week as a charity trustee and I am looking forward to many more to come!
Kidasha Young Trustee
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