Sandra Moss moved to London 7 years ago, where she entered the world of UBS, and begun her unexpected involvement in setting up ToHelp. Almost 6 years into her time supporting the work of ToHelp , she reflects on her initial interest in the charity and the subsequent first-hand experience that she gained being on site at the start of the Orphanage project in Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania.
As Sandra reflects, ‘We (Trustee and former manager, Joshi Sathyavan) shared a joint passion for charity work. When we decided with the others, to set up ToHelp, I was very eager to get involved and essentially support the setup of the charity from its primary stage‘. Sandra played a crucial part in maintaining the charity’s administration, whilst the trustees focused on increasing fundraising efforts and essentially getting things running and off the ground. After having spent some time establishing a base, Sandra was offered the opportunity to become directly involved in the first project, the construction of a Girls Dormitory as part of an Orphanage project in the deprived city of Dar-es-salaam. ‘I wanted to go and see it first hand, to see the real impact of our work. Whilst being there, we spent time agreeing on the implementation of the project and finalising our project aim. We also had an opportunity to meet the children, the Monk and the local school.‘
When asked about the impact that ToHelp has had on the lives of others, Sandra immediately picks up on the ‘charity’s very tangible and direct nature. I have seen the kids with my own eyes, and can see that they are now in a safe environment because of our help… Children who have previously had no form of stable shelter, now have a place they could feel safe within and this gives them an opportunity to focus on their childhood, their education and wellbeing‘. Sandra’s point is poignant, particularly when we so can all fall into the trap of taking basic necessities for granted. For disadvantaged communities, ‘ToHelp gives people the first stepping stone. As we build tangible facilities, we can leave a lasting impact that exceeds its effects on a single community, it will help many cohorts of children and people who will rely on this facility in the years to come.‘
When asked to pin down her most memorable moment on the project, Sandra smiles at the thought of ‘the young girls, they were just normal girls who just wanted to talk, braid each other’s hair and enjoy their childhood. We also met the Monk and it was amazing to see the work he puts in, he has a great approach and was very unmaterialistic. He had to have a strong head on his shoulders in order to support the orphanage and take responsibility for the children. He is the core of this orphanage and it was refreshing to see the work that he does‘.
Now, following the completion of the project, Sandra considers the before and after effect of the work supported by ToHelp. ‘I initially stood on an empty piece of land which was then turned into a home for many needy children. It is amazing to see how collaboration can result in an amazing outcome contributing to the lives of others‘. In essence, this description perfectly captures the importance of charities such as ToHelp and underpins the need for public donations. As Sandra elaborates, ‘whether it is volunteering a few minutes a week or donating money, it is important to not go on in the world only thinking of yourself. We get tied down in focusing on our needs and wants, which we regard as important, but lose sight of the difficulty people face across the world. Tohelp is useful in that sense, it puts things into perspective. The fact that 100% of donations go to the work done by the charity is also significant, it helps you have confidence that your money is really making a difference.‘firstname.lastname@example.org