Nerf In The Beginning
First and foremost, we'd like to introduce ourselves. We are :
Geraint John - Geraint is a UK qualified solicitor who recently completed a secondment at a London law firm to further develop his legal experience in the non profit sector.
Alba Gómez - Alba has working experience in international development (public & private sector), developing proposals and grant applications. Her current work focuses on access to information and freedom of expression.
James Tennet - James works for a UK charity that enables non-profits around the world to be stronger and more effective by providing a global network for fundraising, resource mobilisation and philanthropy.
(Read more about the team, here)
Then there's me, David - I'll be doing a lot of the writing on this blog because it stops me talking, which according to a committee majority is a good thing. Finally, keep an eye our for our German friend, Niklas, who'll be sliding in and out of the story.
HOW IT STARTED
NERF started, and credit where credit is due, as the brain-child of an email question, cleverly initiated by Mr Geraint John. If I remember correctly I think the entire email consisted of the subject "Interested in starting a charity for the earthquake" and then a blank email...
Efficiency obviously being the watch-word a few subsequent emails saw forward movement; recruitment of a committee, agreement on a small start up fund, consensus on objectives, submission of paperwork and the sudden realisation of the precise consequences of what we'd just done.
Now all that was left was to actually help the Nepali people.
Then came the realisation that we'd not only just taken on all the fun and games involved in charity regulation but also the intimidating responsibility to deliver on what you hope to achieve. Or, more precisely, what you need to achieve as an altruistic imperative not only essential to the vision of NERF and charities in general, but as a vital component of what makes you a human being and how you self-identify as 'Good'.
Of course, there will be many beneficiaries who don't care if you're fundamentally Good or not. They are in desperate circumstances and have basic needs that are not fulfilled. People who are really experiencing desperate need can't often say no.
But... we care.
We care that the funding we receive is spent on the right things and for the right people. We care that the programmes we're involved with aren't a flash in the pan. We care that what we do and how we do it provides benefits and generates results for community development long after we're gone.
For us, the best possible outcome and impact of all our work is that we're thought of as just a small step in a resurgent community's self sustaining evolution. Not an all-changing avalanche of developmental change, but an undercurrent in the past of a now thriving community, a catalyst, a trigger not the event.