Deki's Story

Deki was founded in 2008 by Vashti Seth after she was inspired by the plight of a Tibetan refugee called Deki Dolkha.

Deki Dolkha, aged just 4 years old was put on the back of donkey cart by her parents and sent to India in the hope that she would have a better chance at life. Deki ended up in an orphanage in Dharamsala where Vashti's father, Johnny Richards then met her and sponsored her through school.

Having often heard her father talk of Deki, and after his sudden death in 2005 Vashti decided to visit Deki in India.

“Dad had visited Deki twice and there were always letters and pictures going around,” says Vashti. “When I got there, she was 16 and had basic literacy. There were loads of girls in the same situation – they couldn’t stay where they were and they expected to be sent off around India to work as maids. My dad had sponsored her to give her a better life, but she still had no opportunities. We had an amazing week – I took her on fairground rides, to the chemist and bought her toiletries. I took the shoes off my feet and handed them to her – but when I got back to Bristol, I wanted to do something that would really make a difference. Sending money felt so disempowering.”

Shortly before, Vashti had received a £2,000 inheritance from her father and an unexplained note 'to do something good', which up until then it had made no sense. Motivated by her trip she decided she wanted to use the money to help people like Deki, by giving them an opportunity to change things, now and for generations to come.

With an average loan size of £190 a number of people will lend to each entrepreneur. 100% of the money loaned goes directly to that person and within an average of 12 months the money is paid back - it can then be returned to the lender or re-lent to another entrepreneur. Even a small initial investment can help a number of people to raise themselves out of poverty. Learn how Deki works.