Global Citizenship: Building Bridges, Schools and Dreams

Events | South West
Photo (credit: Mark Simmons Photography) left to right: Carly Willis of Claremont & WiP SW Chairman, Kate Webb of Orbis Expeditions, Jo Williams of Sanderson Weatherall & WiP National Chairman, Katy Toms of WSP, Rosalyn Trotman of Thrings & WiP SW Vice-Chairman

The Association of Women in Property South-West branch recently invited over 150 guests to the newly-refurbished Aquam Bibe space at Hotel du Vin at the Avon Gorge in Bristol to discuss making a difference on a global scale.

Kate Webb of Orbis Expeditions was invited to share with the room how they help over 750 people every year travel to Malawi and work with local communities to share skills. Many professionals in the South-West have previously expressed an interest in helping developing countries, but short of donating money, they do not know where to start.

Webb explained: “There is so much that can be done whatever your skill set – how to start up your own business, tourism, and particularly building and construction. The local communities we work with in Malawi have a real aspiration to learn trades and work with us to build their own achievements. This is not about handing out money – we are changing lives forever”. 

Katy Toms, a civil engineer at consulting firm WSP and 2018 Venus Awards ‘Women in Construction’ winner, spoke about her involvement on the recent Spring 2018 expedition with Orbis, highlighting how rewarding it was to be able to share her specialist knowledge with local groups in Malawi.

She said: “I am so passionate about encouraging people to get involved in working in developing countries now that I have seen first-hand how inspiring it can be. As the ancient saying goes “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try spending a night with a mosquito”. I have even signed up to the Spring 2019 expedition with Orbis which is focused on STEM and building a new STEM classroom for the Rainbow Hope Secondary School in Malawi which will have lasting impact for future generations.”

These expeditions are not just for desk-based property professionals though – the latest person to sign up to make a difference in Malawi is Dame Kelly Holmes – who will be taking on the challenge of running 25km up Mulanje Mountain, followed by a 55km cycle and 25km kayak.

For details on future expeditions with Orbis: http://www.orbis-expeditions.com/scheduled-departures 

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