Community Newsletter | 16th November, 2020

Alderney, Guernsey | November 2020

Dear Friends,

Well, the last newsletter really seemed to hit the spot. I am so grateful for the very many messages of support and encouragement I received as a result. Thank you! I’d love to hear more.

This week included ‘Remembrance Sunday’ that commemorates British service members who have died in wars and other military conflicts since the onset of World War I. It’s also a day where I take pause to remember family and friends I have lost and the very many people who have lost their lives in wars all over the world. The island where I live is one of the most fortified places in the world for its size of 8 square kilometres. It was occupied in 1941 during the second world war and prisoners were involved in building the fortifications and lived in terrible conditions here.

In my career, I have worked alongside people living in refugee camps all over the world. In Ethiopia, Hong Kong, Kenya, and Yemen. Countries that gave refuge at the time to people from Sudan, Vietnam, Sudan (again) and Somalia respectively – while their countries were struggling with the effects of war, or its aftermath, and I thought of them too. I am sill in touch with some of my Vietnamese friends from my Hong Kong days (1986-88).

In these reflections I found a renewed urgency to be so grateful for everything that is going right… it’s so easy to slip into focussing on what’s wrong and someone wise once told me that focus is a little bit like sunshine and whatever you shine your focus on it grows.

So, it behoves me to shine my focus on what is going right – and so much has – during these difficult last 8 months….

  • Good health!
  • The extra time with my children;
  • The new partnerships for Children for Health which we are building brick-by-brick;
  • The direct contact I now have through WhatsApp with inspiring and creative educators in many parts of the world;
  • Joe Biden who has just been elected President of the USA!
  • A friendly and supportive Children for Health community;
  • New friends;
  • A lovely borrowed house in which to settle and work with gorgeous views of nature;
  • New hobbies! (I’m sea swimming and bellringing!)

I’m surely one of the luckiest people alive and so grateful for it.

This week we have had a Children for Health board meeting. Our four Trustees are fantastic! I’m grateful for them too! I find so much support and solace during our meetings… they pick me up and push me forward at each of our monthly virtual meetings. Last week was difficult with several disappointments –  but I feel moved on already…

If you have interest in joining our board (now or later) or our new steering committee that we will set up next year – PLEASE DO GET IN TOUCH.

The highlight of this week has been a great conversation with Ogweno Stephen an incredible young Kenyan entrepreneur who set up Stowelink Inc. and is already finding great success with his content and outreach using mobile, and other digital tools, as well as working with school health clubs. We are SO excited that Ogweno is keen to find ways to work together with us. For more information on this conversation click here.

I’ve been talking about our ally, SuperBetter for some time now, here is our vision of working with the SuperBetter ideas. We have a concept note ready to go! If you are interested in finding out more, please get in touch.

Lastly a piece that reminds us of the resourcefulness and competence of young adolescents. Here is Milly making facemasks for her community in the UK.

Until next week – and have a great one…


P.S. This is the sunset as seen from my borrowed house in Alderney, it brings me such joy and peace.