Making the World Different with Vodafone World of Difference

How tired do you get if you have to go to school then fetch litres of water and carry it miles home? Is it difficult to go shopping but not be able to read the ingredients within or price of anything? Do you get embarrassed if you only have one outfit to wear day in, day out, for special occasions and for work, and how do you wash it? What’s it like to hear your baby cry with hunger but have nothing to feed her?

How does it feel to have a job you know is making people’s lives better?

Jeevika Trust with World of DifferenceVodafone’s World of Difference programme is giving me the chance to contribute to solutions to some of these provocative questions.

Over four months I will be working with Jeevika Trust to nourish the crucial initiatives in livelihood development that have helped over 100,000 people in Indian villages. This is Jeevika’s second year partnering with Vodafone and we couldn’t be happier about it.

During my placement, I will be working towards three goals:

  • I will be establishing a knowledge base of socio-economic and appropriate technology data to feed our growth on the ground.
  • We’ll also be collaborating with top universities and sharing our findings with you and with our worldwide partners as part of our on-going mission to further the philosophy of Practising Schumacher through Buddhist Economics.
  • Lastly, I will be bolstering our reputation as ‘Hampton Wick’s own International Charity’ with a website upgrade and community outreach at local schools, businesses and events.

If you want a dose of the feel good factor too, you should volunteer with us! If you have experience in IT, PR, business, academia or simply have a hankering to help change the world, I’m only an email away on

Or you can always keep in the loop with my journey here on the blog and consider donating:

Jeevika Trust Just Giving

Many thanks to Vodafone and their World of Difference programme for making this placement possible! We look forward to making a world of difference with you.

Vodafone image courtesy of Afternoon Voice.

An Inspiring Induction: Making a World of Difference with Vodafone

There is wisdom in smallness.”
– E. F. Schumacher

As Andrew mentioned in his post last week, both Candace and I are winners of Vodafone’s World of Difference (WOD) programme this year. I think Vodafone deserves a lot of credit for coming up with such an innovative CSR initiative.

At our induction day in late February, I had the pleasure of meeting lots of other winners from diverse walks of life. Like me, many of them are being enabled to transform the fortunes of small charities by the WOD programme.

A very small world

By very happy coincidence, one of the winners I met was Tom Stedall. Tom’s charity, The Converging World, works with the same Indian partner as Jeevika Trust in Tamil Nadu, Social Change and Development (SCAD).

Jeevika runs Project Pisces with SCAD, which has brought three traditional water reservoirs, known as ooranies, back into use providing water for farming and domestic use. Here’s an idea of how the transformation takes place:

Restoring ponds in India

Restoring ponds in India

Ooranie pond restoration in India

Additionally, in 2010 the ooranies were used for fish farming and the harvest was consumed and sold by 2,500 villagers in the Tuticorin area.

Ooranie pond restoration in India

The Converging World supports SCAD community development projects on GP consultations, education and women’s self help groups and is also developing renewable energy and woodstove initiatives.

Connecting Schumacher with World of Difference

Both The Converging World and Jeevika Trust draw inspiration from the radical economist, E.F. Schumacher, author of the book Small is Beautiful: Economics as if people mattered.

Schumacher rejected large scale industrial development based on the exploitation of finite, non-renewable resources.

He instead believed in tackling poverty by revitalising rural communities, promoting inclusive, sustainable development and creating and sharing appropriate knowledge and technology centred around human well-being.

At Vodafone’s inspirational induction day, listening to the fascinating stories of so many activists that are improving the world through grassroots, community-based organisations, it occurred to me that Schumacher’s belief that “Small is beautiful” is also a very apt description for the WOD programme itself.

Restoring ponds in India

To learn more about our water projects, such as Project Ooranie in Tamil Nadu, visit our website. Have a question about ooranie pond restoration? Leave a comment below and we’d love to tell you more!