Today, I wept for joy at work, for the first time ever, after receiving these pictures by email. I forwarded the email to the team and Julie called me, also weeping. Sajid said he was on the verge, as he forwarded the email on to his Dad, and his Dad was so happy he called Sajid straight away. I never expected that becoming a Chartered Accountant and starting my own business would give me so much power for good.
The email had come from Mesfin Abraham, a partner at VRC, a firm in India with which we maintain close contacts. Mesfin is overseeing work to refurbish the science lab at Fort Girls’ School in Kerala, which we are funding.
Starting your own business is always a struggle and my case is no exception. It’s an extremely long hard slog, as any small business owner will know. With the dedicated help of my two brilliant colleagues, we have scraped this little business into a good enough shape that, also with a big contribution from Sajid, and by taking small salaries ourselves, we have managed to do something more valuable than we ever expected.
We always do our best for clients and we love what we do, but the world of tax seems closer always, to bringing tears of despair than tears of joy. So it is particularly refreshing to be able to share with you, these pictures of progress at the school.
Fort Girls’ was founded by Augusta Blanchard, an English missionary, in 1836, and I believe we are replacing the very original science lab. I visited the school in February 2015 when I also did my due diligence on VRC. It is a wonderful school, full of bright girls, desperately keen to learn, crammed into ancient classrooms, though in beautiful clean uniforms.
In English terms, even in these times, this science lab cost very little. We also sponsor several girls there, so they will stay on for sixth form. We pay them what they would have got, had they succumbed to the pressure to leave school to support their families, who are poor. We pay just over £5 per month, for each girl.
Please do have a look at our “giving back” page for more information. I would like to thank my colleagues and our clients, and all those who contributed through Melanie Christie, Regional Director of the ICAEW North West region.