Founder and CEO of Deki, Vashti Seth's Christmas Message
If there was a theme for Deki’s year, 2015’s theme would definitely be breakthrough. This year the Deki team and I really witnessed our own progression. Moving from our increasingly cramped four desk office, into our bigger office felt like a real milestone. When our new website went live I was bursting with pride, I couldn’t stop smiling. The amazing photography by long time Deki volunteer, Adam Dickens, has made our website pack the punch that it needs to make a great first impression.
When Deki became a charity in 2010 I knew that if I poured my heart and soul into a cause I truly believed in it would have an impact. But that impact was brought to life this year when Deki lent over half a million pounds to our entrepreneurs. As I write this blog we have lent over £627,090 pounds and helped change the lives of over 25,000 hard-working, developing world entrepreneurs. The amount we lend month by month has doubled since 2014.
As Deki has grown, I’ve been bowled over by the amazing success stories and I hope that Deki lenders have been as inspired as I have. Some of our entrepreneurs, like Bruno Nyrenda - Malawi, are on their third loan! He’s become a serial entrepreneur, and is raising the prospects of his family as well as providing jobs and boosting the local community.
But inevitably, working so closely with poverty brings its sadness, as well as its celebration. In March we said goodbye to one of our Deki entrepreneurs. Etinas Wambiri passed away during childbirth on March 8th. She was from Malawi, 38 and much loved; married with five children. She had recently received a loan to open her own grocery store, selling soap, sugar, tea and biscuits- her life and the lives of her family were starting to turn around.
But the real breakthrough this year has been our incredible fundraising stories, lenders who have really challenged themselves to do intrepid things to raise money for Deki. Like Justin Woolford, who took on the Tour de France for us (well, a very tricky mountain bit of it), and incredible Talulla (11) from Sefton Park School who shaved her hair to raise an astounding £341.60 for us. And not forgetting our volunteer, Liz, who abseiled down the Avon Gorge to raise money for her trip to Malawi.
A big mention also has to go to the companies like Ecosurety and Nurseline who accepted the challenge of the Deki Tenner Tournament, and new friends like Marshfield Bakery and Ocean whose commitment to supporting Deki is paramount to our success as a charity. Deki lends 100% of its loan capital to ambitious entrepreneurs in need, so we rely on donations and grants to build a solid foundation as a charity and enable us to create a world of opportunity, not poverty.
So after my initial blogging writers block I decided I didn’t need to write a witty blog. Just an honest heartfelt “thank you” to everyone that has helped Deki with our breakthrough year.
This is a letter is to everyone that also believes in a world of opportunity, not poverty. Without you, this wouldn’t be possible. The funds you lend this month will be released to our entrepreneurs on December 31st, ready to transform the futures of more entrepreneurs in 2016.
Thank you for all your support,
CEO and Founder