Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Dig Deep Impact Report 2012/13 - By Peter Fitzsimmons, Chairman of the Trustees

Peter Fitzsimmons is Chairman of Dig Deep’s Board of Trustees. Peter co-founded the charity with Jo Zeevi in 2007 and both remain actively engaged on the Board having overseen the rapid increase in the impact of Dig Deep in alleviating water poverty in Kenya.

"When we first conceived of Dig Deep in 2007, Jo and I were still students. We were introduced to an inspirational woman Agnes Pareyio, UN Person of the Year in 2005, and set out to raise £25,000 for our first project providing sustainable water supplies to the community of Sakutiek. We did this in 2008 and the project continues to provide clean water to thousands of people.

From those early days, we have come on leaps and bounds. That we have seen our income grow from £64,000 to £319,000 with just a single member of staff in the UK, Ben Skelton, for all but the final two months of this period is a testament to his dedication and the marvellous support of our volunteers. Their generosity of time and expertise combined with the support of several partner organisations has allowed us to grow during this difficult period for charities. The engagement of over 200 UK students as Dig Deep ambassadors has proved an innovative approach to fundraising and to be a mutually rewarding activity for those involved.

An early draft taken to Kenya to show our beneficiaries
In Kenya the dedication of our fundraisers has manifested itself in an unprecedented impact on a whole host of different projects this year, some of which are described in the following pages. They have been conducted in the same spirit of partnership as our first with Agnes and have been expertly overseen by Anna Banyard, a talented engineer and former volunteer who has joined our team.

This year I had the privilege of accompanying the Trustees on a visit. The highlight was undoubtedly the community’s response at Kagasek where a thousand community members assembled for the opening ceremony of the rainwater harvesting projects at the local schools. Everything I saw in Kenya affirms the direction Dig Deep is taking and the high esteem in which our community led model is held by the beneficiaries we work with.

When we look back on 2012/13 I have no doubt we will see it as Dig Deep’s take-off year. The progress organisationally and operationally has been exponential.

My sincere thanks goes out to all of our supporters and volunteers, whose gift of time enhances everything that we do."

Peter Fitzsimmons


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