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Clare Bamberger at the Tanzanian inaugeration event

This trustee’s week, we hear from one of our volunteer board members, Clare Bamberger, who shares her experiences.

“A trustee role needs to offer trustees’ experience, ideas, direction and skills without getting involved in the day-to-day executive running of the Charity. Many trustee roles are “hands off” – offering advice and discussing direction but in a small organisation like World Villages for Children, the trustee roles are very much ‘hands on’.”

Clare says that working alongside other trustees and the small, dedicated team in London, and meeting other fundraisers from Europe and the US has given her a fascinating insight into how a charity functions.

“As trustee for fundraising and impact, I have been actively involved in recruiting our first full-time fundraiser, leading on a theory of change and impact model, meeting some of our lovely donors and advising on our fundraising portfolio. I’ve also been able to advise on the organisational strategy and team structure, fundraising strategy, brand refresh, provided support to the team during the pandemic, and actively fundraising myself by running 10k!It has given me a sense of joy to use my experience to make a real difference to the lives of children by making sure we are raising as much money as possible.”

Clare Bamberger with a sister and the new books in Tanzania

“I’ve been able to visit some of the schools and vocational training centres to see first-hand the selfless, talented work of The Sisters of Mary and seen how education has transformed the lives of children, and the lives of their families now and for the future.

I’ve seen the extraordinary results of a curriculum that is not just academic and vocational but includes links with employers, and a whole programme of learning life skills – social, sports, cultural and arts.”

Clare explains how the Sisters provide a sense of order to previously chaotic lives of the children who attend our schools.

“There’s a real sense of security and community with a safe and clean environment, regular meals, a bed of their own, medical and dental care. The children feel loved and cared for, some for the first time in their short lives.

The children I’ve spoken to talk of learning to have fun, to play, and to have respect for themselves and for others. They talk about how much they love being at school, their hopes for the future and their families.”

Group shot of the students in Tanzania with Nicola Lawson and Clare Bamberger

Clare has also witnessed the struggles of the Sisters themselves and applauds their courage:

“The Sisters travel the length and breadth of the countries to find children who are most in need of our help. They encounter unimaginable difficulties such as snake-infested rivers, long and uncomfortable journeys, and sometimes hostility from the local gangs. The most difficult thing however is to see crowds of children all in need of care and education and knowing our schools have limited capacity.”

When asked if she’d encourage others to become a Charity trustee, Clare said, “I’ve found it incredibly rewarding to see the difference my contribution has made. It has honestly been one of the most rewarding things I’ve been privileged to do.”