As you well know, here at Ivy, we do love a good campaign, enjoying seeing Welsh businesses get creative when promoting their products, services and viewpoints.
This week, we were slightly taken back by Welsh charity, THE SAFE FOUNDATION; a local non-profit organisation supporting grass-roots aid projects in India, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Cambodia. With an incredible back story, the charity was founded in 2006 by inspirational twins Hannah and Lucy Fitt, training disadvantaged youngsters in the UK to work at the charity’s projects around the globe.
In 2012, Lucy was working on a placement with the Welsh Government in Zambia when she died in a car crash tragedy; aged 32.
SAFE’s latest project in Southern India will help the Dalit community access education and health services in a £60,000 purpose-built community centre, and, in response to a request by the local community, the centre will be named ‘The Lucy Memorial Centre’ in her honour.
The centre, in the village of Mugaiyur, will be built as a collaborative project, uniting SAFE volunteers, disadvantaged and vulnerable young people from the UK and members of the nomadic Dalit community, one of India’s poorest and most stigmatised groups.
Once built the centre will run as a sustainable social enterprise, connecting people and businesses from the local area by providing health resources and educational opportunities.
SAFE co-founder Hannah said naming the project after Lucy was suggested by the Dalit community themselves and was the perfect way to honour her sister’s memory.
SAFE managing director, Hannah commented:
“Lucy’s death was devastating. It’s so complicated losing an identical twin. From the moment you are conceived you’ve got someone with you sharing all the milestones together, it gives you confidence.
“It was special. When you lose that, it feels physical, you lose part of your own identity. You have to learn to be independent.
“When Lucy died, lots of people said SAFE was her legacy, but I know she would have said that it was not about us, it was about the people we support. This Centre is a massive part of her legacy, it does give a nod to the work she’s done. I was being protective before, now I want to say, there is this Centre that can do something incredible named after her.
“I can’t stress how important this Centre is. It’s practical, it will build skills and it will help the most vulnerable access human rights. It will break down stigmas about the community we are working with. Initially around 400 people will be helped, but over the years we will reach out to many more.
“Every penny we raise will go directly to building the centre. This is true of all our work and we are so proud of that.”
Hannah also revealed how she and Lucy had been inspired to form ‘SAFE’ originally:
“We were always encouraged as a family to be conscious of our community and those around us. It was the way we were brought up. After our A-levels we went off to volunteer, Lucy was in Uganda and saw great stuff, but she also saw gaps, so we decided to do something.
“It’s strange, the real trigger was watching Comic Relief when me and Lucy were nine-years-old. People say they can’t watch it, to turn it off, no, watch it, we were nine and we suddenly realised all is not happy and rosy in the world.”
In October 2017 Hannah travelled to Mugaiyur to lay the foundation stone of ‘The Lucy Memorial Centre’ and now the hard work really starts.
Give a Brick Campaign
The Safe foundation is looking to raise £25,000 towards the building of ‘The Lucy Memorial Centre’ in southern India via its ‘Give a Brick Campaign.’
But this is more than a brick. It’s an education, it’s a livelihood, it’s a hot meal each day, it’s shelter, it’s a health service and it’s a way of establishing independence and confidence for some of the poorest people in the world.
To donate visit justgiving.com/thesafefoundation and look for the Give a Brick campaign.