October 23, 2009, 10:39 am
Filed under: inspiration, london lovin'

YAO Event Invitation_JG_Hiatus

I’ve been busy lately, and only a small part of it has been about making beautiful stationery…sigh.  But it’s all for a good cause.

Thursday next week will be the official launch of a new volunteer group that I’ve been helping to develop, at an event I’ve been at the helm of planning.  The group is called Young Ambassadors for Opportunity, a really diverse (culturally, personally, professionally) group of young Londoners committed to transforming the lives of the poor through microfinance.  As you may know, microfinance enables poor people to work their way out of poverty by providing small loans and other basic financial services that make a lasting difference — it helps people help themselves. In particular YAO supports the work of Opportunity International, the largest charity in the UK specialising solely in microfinance in the developing world.

This cause resonated me as a new entrepreneur, and it feels good to both use my design skills as well as the marketing and event planning skills I have from my previous life as a PR, for such a “higher” purpose.  I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to pursue a dream and do work that I love.  I find microfinance such a compelling and satisfying cause to support because it takes so little, in Western world terms, to offer a similar kind of entrepreneurial opportunity to someone in need in a developing region.  The results are tangible, and often profound.

Next week’s event will be at a very cool space in Shoreditch, Blackall Studios, for a microfinance fundraiser.  There will be a photography exhibit by Giles Duley — he is sponsored by various patrons and travels around developing regions like Africa and Bangladesh capturing their struggles and triumphs and the results are gorgeous, poignant and moving.  The music will be courtesy of Hiatus, a DJ whose work I highly recommend checking out (warning, clicking on the link plays music straight away!).  Plus yummy snacks, and drinks donated by Spier Wines and Diageo.  And a raffle that offers a chance to win some bespoke stationery by yours truly, or a host of other prizes (wine, gift certificates, photography).

The entrance fee is about what you might spend on this kind of night out anyway, but it goes to a wonderful, worthwhile cause.  And the people I’ve been working on this with are interesting, engaging and fun.  It’s going to be a great night.  Click here for tickets and more details.

Stay tuned next week for my take on comfort food, a new online magazine I’m thrilled about (shades of Domino, hallelujah!), a London launch I’m also thrilled about, and news of where to find me in person in London next month, with holiday cards and gifts galore on offer.


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