Since Vashti started Deki in 2008, Deki has changed over 31,000 lives and lent over £800,000 in developing countries. Deki's Founder and CEO, Vashti Seth, is visiting Ghana this month to work with our two field partners and meet some of the entrepreneurs whose lives have been changed. Before she sets off, we wanted to find out how she's feeling about the trip and what she's most excited about. Read her story below.
Hi Vashti, so you are off to Ghana on July 9. Excited?
Yes very excited, although I have just seen on the news that there’s extreme flooding and people are paddling around in boats!
What are you most looking forward to on your trip to Ghana?
I’m most looking forward to connecting with the people that we’ve helped and finding out their stories; meeting the clients who we’ve supported is always inspiring and it’s amazing how much people can do with so little. Most of the people we meet are very hard working and want to do the best for their families and if they are provided with a little bit of opportunity via a microloan they are really able to turn their life around and create a brighter future for themselves.
What are you hoping to achieve from this trip?
This will give us the opportunity to learn from our entrepreneurs and field partners how the work we’re doing is beneficial, and what we can do to improve Deki to ensure we are providing the best service that we can.
Have you had many opportunities to visit the entrepreneurs that you’ve helped in the past?
No, that’s why I’m so excited by this trip. My children are aged six and two and this is the first time I’ve been able to leave them for an extended period of time.
What has been the most rewarding part of setting up Deki?
I especially love the stories that we hear from children who have been able to go to school for longer and now have regular meals every day. This is especially apparent when I see how privileged my children and their friends are – we take so much for granted in this country. We have so many opportunities that we don’t take full advantage of and that’s what Deki is all about – sharing the abundance of opportunities that we have with the people in Africa.
You set up Deki after your father left you £2,000 in his will and a note saying “to do something good”. Now, six years on, you have impacted over 30,000 people’s lives for the better in the developing world, how to you think this would make him feel?
I think he would be really proud; my dad did a lot of travelling and met loads of people who were struggling to make ends meet. I don’t think he knew about the concept of microloans but I think he would have loved the idea of people being given a hand-up not a hand-out.
The charity is named “Deki” after meeting a Tibetan refugee that your father had sponsored called Deki Dolka. Does she know the impact her namesake has had?
Yes, I told Deki Dolka about the charity Deki and about how I named it after her - she was over the moon and really proud that something could be named after her. She loves the concept and understands how a microloan can allow people to never have to rely on other people again because they enable you to stand on your own two feet.