I’ve been lucky enough to have been at One for over 18 months, and in my time here I have been on two customer trips to Malawi. Both trips as good as each other, but also very different. My first trip was with a really small group and the latter was with a group of 10 and I was hosting. The bonds you build with complete strangers over 5 days are incredible! You share an emotional and physically exhausting experience, which just in human nature brings people together and that’s exactly what happened on both trips.
Since being at One I have learnt a lot about myself, and even more so by going on the trips. They make you really think about what is important in life, and what we take for granted back in the UK. The biggest thing I have taken away from meeting so many Malawians now is that, with literally nothing, they are the happiest people I have ever met. We can learn a lot from this as a nation, where people are too busy to smile to a stranger or even acknowledge another person on the morning commute! I have realised life is too short, and if I ever feel myself going that way I try and take myself back to the lovely memories of Malawi and the people I met, especially on a day like Blue Monday today (reportedly the most depressing day of the year). Playing football in 40-degree heat against kids from an orphanage on a mud runway strip, carrying 20kg of pala on my head for 1km and teaching English and maths at a school and loads more. Those experiences will stay with me forever, which I am looking forward to sharing with my loved ones in the future.
And now to 2016 at One. We have big challenges ahead: the aim is to reach another £1.5m in donation this year – so with a bit of hard work, support from our customers and some thirsty consumers let’s hope we can hit that target!