From the Heart of ... our team...

 9th Sep 2020 |  From The Heart Of... |  Margaret Ring


We are so happy to bring a new series of stories - From the Heart of...

Through this collection of stories, we want to take you to the centre of Secret Projects, right to our heart to discover what drives us as we journey towards our vision of of a world where all women have the confidence and resources to make choices, thrive and contribute to the strengthening of their communities.

What keeps us going? What joy and love do we encounter on the way to womens' empowerment? Read on as we begin, over the coming weeks, with our team - a group of committed and wonderful individuals who really are at the heart of Secret Projects...

We start with our Communications Manager, Margaret Ring... we asked her a number of questions about her Secret Projects life and her home life - here is what she has to say!

Question: In a nutshell what does your role at Secret Projects consist of?

Margaret: It's a fabulous role and I am not just saying that for PR reasons!!! I basically oversee our communications, from social media, our newsletters, brand guidelines to our website. I work closely with our Directors, which is great and I am learning so much. A large part of my role is to weave  our latest news into wonderful stories and send them out into the world to spread the story of Secret Projects to a wider and wider audience... and what's not to love about a job where much time is spent writing stories!

 

Question: Is there a typical day in you role? What does it look like?

Margaret: My role is so varied, fast paced and exciting that there isn't really a typical day and I absolutely love that!  No room for getting bored! I do have tasks that I need to complete each month such as getting With Heart our monthly newsletter pulled together and posts for Social Media, but I go with the flow and as a team we all 'jump on' what is our priority. I begin my day by catching up on emails and messages via our various 'Whatsapp' groups and then I see what is needed next...

Question: What did you do before Secret Projects?

Margaret: I have worked in the charity sector for many years now. I spent 14 years as a Volunteer and Project Manager at Voluntary Service Overseas, sending medical volunteers  around the world, to share their skills and help marginalised communities. My last position before joining Secret Projects was as a Project Manager and Fundraiser for a small charity, Adventure Ashram. A fantastic organisation that works hard to provide funds for small grass roots NGO's in India and this is where my deep love for India sprang from. It's also where I met Fritha, our CEO!

Question: How does your role at Secret Projects empower you?

Margaret: In so, so many ways! As part of a small team, we all need to be able to turn our hands to tasks that we might not have much experience in. I find this both thrilling and nerve-wracking at the same time! It feels amazingly empowering when I have learned something new to help me work smarter and to add to my repertoire! I love the way the Directors allow me to take on new areas for my self development and actively encourage the team to develop new skills. That is so empowering!

Question: What do you find most fulfilling about working at Secret Projects?

Margaret: I think it's the impact that we make within our Maker Groups, as the women earn an income to support themselves and their families. Our Makers don't want hand-outs, but to be given an opportunity use their sewing skills to earn money and that is exactly what Secret Projects provides. I find it so fulfilling to play a small role in this powerful model.

Question: Tell us a little about your life away from Secret Projects.

Margaret: I live in South London with my husband Johnny, a photographer, 20 year old son, Charlie, who is currently on a training programme for a company that hires cameras and lighting equipment to the TV and film industry and our dog, Marple, a beautiful creature, we re-homed from a rescue centre. She and I are pictured together!

I love living in London, but do enjoy escaping to the countryside and love going for long walks in the fresh air. One of my greatest passions is to travel and I visit India as often as I can - it's my favourite country and I adore the vibrancy of the culture.

I do some voluntary work (helping with their communications) for a small charity that works in the Spiti Valley in the Himalayas and find this very rewarding. Now my son is grown up, I have more time for voluntary work and it's something that I really enjoy.

And to end - a few other things about me... I loathe having to clean my house, am constantly frustrated that there is always washing to do... finally... I feel very happy as I walk Marple early in the morning - it sets me up for the day!

 

Let's finish with a bit of light-hearted fun!

Question: Dancing or walking?

Margaret: Dancing when I am on my own!!! (I'm not a good dancer!!!) I can walk for miles!

Question: Going out for the evening or staying at home?

Margaret: As I am getting older, it's definitely staying at home! I do love going out for lunch with friends these days.

Question: If you could have a one hour telephone conversation with anyone, who would it be?

Margaret: That's an interesting one... I think it would be Bishop Desmond Tutu. I really admire his strength, his open minded faith and compassion for humanity.

Question: As Secret Projects drives people to think about India what do you want to tell the world about India? What do you love most about the country?

Margaret: I would say go to India if you can. It is truly a place like no other - full of colour and life, but also hardship. I can't really explain how I feel when I am in India, there is such an energy and I feel privileged to have been able to explore communities away from the tourist trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More

Make and sell a product and contribute some or all of the profits to Secret Projects

Make and sell a product and contribute some or all of the profits to Secret Projects

We were over the moon when a student of a teacher who had travelled with us to India on a 'Teachers Trip' was so inspired by the tales her tutor had . . . to tell, that she immediately wanted to help in some way. And this is what Charlotte did... she came up with her very own 'Secret Project' and put together a cookery book of Indian recipes.  Many of the recipes came from Nirmala, the Director of Secret Products India and Charlottle had it printed beautifully and sold copies to other teachers who had been on the trip, as well as her friends and family and contributed all profits to Secret Projects. Once again, this is yet another great example of how people can get involved and contribute to our vision of a world where all women have the confidence and resources to make choices, thrive and contribute to the strengthening of their communities. Please get in touch with you ideas for your own 'Secret Project', we can't wait to hear them! Please complete the form here.
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Sponsor a Secret Projects Homeware and Clothing Collection

Sponsor a Secret Projects Homeware and Clothing Collection

Are you someone who likes to hear about a good business opportunity? We have an interesting proposal to tell you about...Sponsor a Secret Products . . . Collection. It's a new concept for us and we are excited to announce that we are looking for 5 sponsors to help us design and produce 3 new Secret Products Collections in 2021. This is a great opportunity if, like us, you have a pioneer spirit and are passionate about driving income generating opportunities for women in India. Sponsorship opportunities range from £500 to £5000 - we have put together a plan below about how we see it working, although as it's such a new venture, we may need to tweak here and there as we go along: 1. A potential sponsor contacts us to express an interest in working with us on the venture 2. We will ask you to have a meeting with our CEO, Fritha and our Finance Director, Banke to discuss things in a little more detail. Prior to this meeting, we will have sent you a full brief about the 3 Secret Projects Collections 3. During the meeting, we can answer any questions you may have and our hope is that you will commit to sponsoring a Secret Projects Collection! 4. As a sponsor, we will ask you to transfer your sponsorship funds to our UK company, via bank transfer. Please note, we can accept both GBP and Euros 5. Following this, production commences within our Maker Community 6. Once production is completed, we will photograph the Collection, add to our official retail stores and your sponsored Collection is launched! 7. As the Collection sponsor, we will share the sales activities with you on a regular basis and agree a schedule to repay your funds To talk to us about sponsoring a Secret Projects Collection, please email Fritha on: fritha@secretprojects.org
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Raise your contribution to Secret Projects by organising a sponsored event

Raise your contribution to Secret Projects by organising a sponsored event

There are many ways to make a contribution to our vision of a world where all women have the confidence and resources to make choices, thrive and . . . contribute to the strengthening of their communities. One way is to organise your own event or activity. Please read on... We are lucky to be surrounded by a large and powerful community.  These community members often choose to ask their friends and family members to sponsor an event or activity they have organised to raise contributions towards our vision. The money contributed from these activities will be used wisely in a number of ways as follows: Running of our 4 stage Virtual Training for Empowerment Programme Working with existing and new Maker Community Development of new Secret Products. The sale of Secret Products is the core driver of our mission to empower We were delighted when one of our community, Cinnamon ran the New York Marathon to honour the life of her mother and to raise money for Secret Projects. Here is what Cinnamon had to say about her experience: 'Inge was a formidable woman who was the definition of empowerment. She left Austria at 19, raised her children as a single mother, travelled to India where she trained to become a professional yoga instructor. Incredibly creative, stylish, wise, outspoken and unique – a force to be reckoned with! Countless people have told me what an inspiration Inge was to their lives, it is clear that her intellect and spiritual awareness touched many people. I decided to raise money for a cause that truly represents everything that we are celebrating about Inge and Secret Projects embodies it all.' Thank you to everyone who organises their own sponsored events and also to those who support them in their efforts! To learn more about how to make a contribution to Secret Projects, please click here. Photograph: Secret Projects supporter and friend, Cinnamon in the New York Marathon!
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