Our UK Director, Chris Boddy, explains the changes which are taking place in the Hope for Life Katanga UK team:
At the end of 2015, our founders, Mark and Megan Walters, left the UK to go travelling in India. Whilst planning how Hope for Life could run without them, I agreed to take the UK Director role from Mark. It was a job I was excited to do but I was also nervous about the responsibility required. 7 people in Uganda rely on Hope for Life for their jobs and 57 children rely on us for their education. There are also over 20 adults enrolled in our livelihoods training classes. Fortunately for me I had the help of our amazing volunteers and I was supported and guided by our incredible trustees. It was also a privilege to work closely with our Ugandan Director, Francis, and to learn from his advice and recommendations.
Over the course of the year I realised that Hope for Life had become too big to have just one part time person pulling the strings. This is why I am so excited that Mark and Megan have returned to the UK. I won’t be handing the running of Hope for Life back to them but instead we will splitting the work between us. What we have to do now is to work out what that means in practice. Who will do what and who will fill each of the essential roles within the charity?
These discussions have been shaped around several other developments. Sadly, our Chair for the last 5 years, Sarah Henderson, has stepped down as Chair and as a trustee because she is starting a teacher training course. I would like to thank her on behalf of everyone associated with Hope for Life for all the work she has done for us. Without her guidance and expertise Hope for Life would never have been able to turn from an idea into a reality. Mark has now replaced Sarah as the Chair of Hope for Life and this means that he is now ultimately responsible for ensuring the direction and activities of the charity remain true to our original purpose.
Sarah’s resignation also left a space on our board of trustees and I am delighted to say that this vacancy has been filled by Laura Richards. Laura works for a firm that specialises in charity accounts and has just passed the final exams required for her to become a chartered accountant. She had already been working with us as a finance volunteer for several months and so was the ideal candidate. She was appointed as our Treasurer at our AGM on the 15th September and we are very excited about the input she will be having from now on.
Laura replaced Chris Collier as Treasurer who, in a charity governance version of musical chairs, took the role of Secretary from me so that I can now concentrate solely on the role of UK Director. In his new role, Chris Collier will be responsible for organising and recording all the meeting we have as a UK board.
This reshuffle, despite seeming a little complicated, means that for the first time ever the roles of UK Director, Chair, Secretary and Treasurer are all held by different individuals. Up until now at least one person had always been doubling up and doing two of these essential roles. I am excited about what we will now be able to achieve as we continue to grow and improve how we operate.
Mark is currently in Uganda and I will be joining him next week. Whilst we are there we will be meeting with Francis and our two additional co-founders, Moses and Joshua. By the end of our time there I am hoping that Mark and I will have a really solid idea about how we will be splitting the running of Hope for Life. We’ll keep you posted!