For a change - Human Growth not Financial Growth

Group photo

By Ruth Berry, Tuesday 25th of February 2020

I write this on my way home from a life changing week in Egypt, for which I will forever be deeply grateful.

I was working with Karama, a group of activists who are passionate about improving the lives of women and girls from Africa and the Middle East.

(I was also doubly fortunate to be working alongside my dear, dear friend, @Jeremy Keeley - for those of you who know him, you will know that this is enough of a treat in itself.)

Karama is spearheaded by a warrior woman called @hibaaq osman and she and her brilliant colleagues are working tirelessly for the many women in oppressed, underprivileged and dangerous situations in those regions. (This woman is UNBELIEVABLE, btw, but more on her another time….)

Our focus this week was on equipping young female leaders with the skills to help adolescent girls in their communities, many of whom are struggling to even have a voice, or stay safe, let alone a future. As I write this on my own youngest daughter’s twentieth birthday, I feel immensely thankful for all of our freedom and opportunity. Real winners in the lottery of life.

But I reflected today on just how refreshing it is to be working on something which is truly seeking human growth rather than financial growth…

Of course the world I normally inhabit is that of corporate business - some great people here too, but this world is driven by achieving targets, placating shareholders, driving innovation to beat the competition and so on. I also understand that this is what they have to do to survive in a tough world.

But with all their difficulty and challenge, spending a precious five days with these remarkable, brave people who have chosen to do more with their lives than most of us, who give their time and risk their own safety often for others, was a blessed privilege for someone like me.

Our world is so interconnected, and we are all experiencing unprecedented global threats to our health, and our environment right now, which are rightly causing us all to finally pause but also to experience fear.

However, this week what I have learned is that even in the darkest despair, the human spirit is indeed strong, and that listening and dialogue and love can create hope for a better future.

I would like to thank you to all of you who have led me to the opportunity to enter into the world of Karama, thinking especially of, @Gillian Secrett and @Georgia Sorenson - it has done me more good than you could ever imagine.

I hope to be able to be with you all again at some point in the future, and I send you all my fondest love.

Ruth xxx