RIP Jo Cox MP – the death of a beautiful humanitarian & a true politician

I doubt there is anyone who has not felt appalled and sickened by the senseless murder of Jo Cox MP last week on the streets of her constituency.  Much has been written about it and will continue to do so over the coming days and weeks so I’ve been hesitant to write here, to add to the many words of analysis and condolence.

But as one who used to work in the sector Jo did before becoming an MP only 15 months ago, I want to express why I find this so hard, so sad, and yet also share a glimmer of hope.

© BBC images

© BBC images http://tinyurl.com/jb5ddmg

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The ‘Little Things’: Christmas Far From Home, Week 2

Aid worker sings Jason Mraz to refugeesThere’s a well-known saying in England that gets a good airing at this time of year.  You’ll hear it when a Granny opens a hand made gift by her grandchild, covered in glitter, a bit wonky and shrieking bright colours.  Or when a teenager offers voluntarily to put up the Christmas cards or make the guest bed up (yes, miracles do happen):

“It’s the little things that count” Continue reading

The Book Project: a tale of motherhood, careers, and expired passports

MSTCBook_CovercopiaOn Monday, a book is being launched in London that has my name on the front cover.

This book is not a novel, but it does tell a story; in fact it tells two stories.

On the surface, it is the story of how the global aid agency, World Vision, came up with a new way of analysing politically unstable contexts using local perspectives, along with sharing what that method is (that’s the boring bit for most of you).

But the other story, what you won’t know by reading just the book, is the other, deeply encouraging story behind it: how 14 years ago a woman with a career in the aid sector got this participatory conflict analysis project started. She soon became a mother and gave up that career. That project grew and developed and became something so useful that 9 years later it was thought a book should be written to share those learnings. The mother was sought out, and asked to help write the book. That woman is, of course, me. Continue reading

Going without our coats for the kids of Syria

Every child needs a coat BadgeNext Thursday we’re doing a slightly batty thing as a family: we’re not wearing our coats for a day so that refugee children from Syria can wear one every day.

I know. Its the middle of January, the coldest time of the year. And since making the decision to sign up, that lovely man from The Met has predicted snow for the south east (eek!). But when I heard that my former employer, World Vision UK, was organising a sponsored Give Up Your Coats day I immediately knew this would be a good thing for us to do as a family. Continue reading