Stepping forward – September 2023
Who would launch a charity in the middle of a Global Financial Crisis? Oddly enough, we did! There was so much need and opportunity, we had to give it a go. 15 years later, as I prepare to step aside as CEO, I still get excited as I consider the hundreds of thousands of lives that have been impacted and the positive change brought about through Entrust and your partnership.
So many people I have met are stamped on my heart and mind forever. Families in rural Uganda showing their thanks for their micro-loans by gifting me a live chicken during a monsoon storm, all of us soaked to the skin.
Children at the base of the Himalayas giving me an enthusiastic welcome to their school, after a 3 hour drive from an already remote location on very scary roads.
According to the statistics (stay with me), Entrust sits in the top 15% largest charities in Australia and with only 6% of charities in Australia operating overseas, we are in the top 5% largest of these! My passion for 15 years has been as a “dot joiner”, linking the generosity of Australians, to those who have no voice and desperately need our help!
I will never forget the squeals of delight watching kids splash under their new tap on a remote island in DR Congo. Only accessible by canoe, Project Manager Jenny and I visited for 3 days to see the impact of clean water on 18,000 people.
With your partnership, over the last 15 years we have identified and funded over 750 projects, distributing over $24m to some of the neediest people in the world. We delivered 100% of supporter funds to partner projects working amongst the poor in the hardest places, covering all our own costs. I could not have dreamt how effective this would be and the immense privilege that is ours in making it possible.
Our team has grown over 15 years and we continually strive for better engagement and cost-effective development. We have just launched a new IT system to enable us to grow, and a new website to enhance our communications. Our Board has evolved and new, younger members are setting our path for future growth. A smooth and well thought-through transition plan is being enacted. We are thrilled to announce that Entrusts’ next CEO has been appointed!
I would like to introduce you to Nikki Capp. She may be known to some of you already! Nikki comes with a broad background across both corporate and Not For Profit sectors and brings experience, vision and a passion for transformation in the lives of the poor and marginalised. She carries our missional DNA and brings strong leadership for the next phase in the growth and impact of Entrust.
Commencing in October, Nikki and I will be undertaking a 3-month baton change, enabling Nikki to get to know Entrust and all our partners. In 2024 I will continue supporting Entrust’s work on a part time basis.
One thing I can assure you, Entrust is in great hands for the future. We have an incredibly supportive Board (pictured above), a talented new CEO and an amazing, committed staff team, supporters and overseas partners. Each of you play a vital role as we continue to keep changing the world – one person, one family, one village and one nation at a time.
Living in Australia comes with responsibility. Just eight weeks ago I was with local partners in the red light district of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I observed a paedophile preying on young children. He had been identified and was being tracked by our local partners. Seeing teenage girls out the front of the many bars, available for 15 minutes – or for the night, breaks my heart. Knowing that Entrust is making a difference in protecting innocent children makes this reality just a little lighter.
Thank you for your friendship, partnership and engagement over the last 15 years. As a friend often reminds me – it is a ‘match made in heaven’. None of us could do it on our own, but collectively we have amazing impact and plans to achieve even more in the future.
I’m looking forward to all that is ahead.