Whilst in Cambodia I visited the Killing Fields and murky halls of Tlong Sueng prison and learnt the dark and recent history of the revolution and genocide of more than a quarter of the population by Pol Pot and his cronies.
The tanks rolled into what was then an arty and intellectual capital of Phnomn Penh, in April 1975 - just one month before I was born the other side of the world. Not for the first time on my travels I thought to myself - there but for the Grace of God go I.
Since then i've stayed with women in indigenous communities high in the weaving communities of the Andes in Peru, and been welcomed to a town fiesta in a zapatista friendly community of the mountains of Chiapas in Mexico. I've shelled corn and ground cacao with a mother and daughter in the gardens of Northern Ecuador and heard stories from a traditionally dressed Guatamalan teacher called Marbina about losing her best friend in childbirth when she was just 20.
These women I meet around the world are the same as you or I. They have the same hopes, and dreams as us. They giggle at the same jokes about men, their hearts are filled with the same notions of romance and love for they children. Yet many of them are still struggling to get their basic needs met when it comes to health care and education.
And this doesn't just happen in some dusty, exotic far away land. The same struggle continues at home in the capital and the country I called home for the best part of four decades.
I led an enchanted London life, from my first saturday job working in a chocolate shop on Bond street and serving Alec Guinness, to launching a train station to HRH the Queen and working with some of the countries most famous premiership footballers not to mention performing in Shakespeare in the royal parks and castle grounds of England. Perhaps when I mention London my overseas friends also imagine a Shakespearean garden on a midsummer nights, cream teas and holly hocks, shiny scrapers and bright red buses. But the reality these days is more Dickens than Shakespeare. Author of the classic tale of child poverty - Oliver Twist, Dickens was a fierce social commentator and critique of the squalor that children and the working classes were living in at the onset of the industrial age.
But two centuries later and 28% of the countries children in the UK are still living in poverty. In Tower Hamlets an East End borough where many a Dickens character passed through and the notorious haunt of Jack the Ripper that number rises to 42%. Yes almost half the chlldren that live in this borough in 2016 London live in poverty.
Pure Intention is one of the cultivations of the Hridaya path of Yoga and Meditation. We keep an open heart and consecrate or bless our entire body and being that our spiritual awakening may benefit all beings. Thus with an open heart I offer up WanderWomenClub and use this place to set my pure intention that together we women who are able to invest in our personal development are able to come together to contribute and support the women and children around the world that most need our help.
A percentage of all profit from this site go towards charities at home and around the world. Please follow the links for those that i'm supporting currently.
Shot by the Taliban as a 13 year old girl for wanting to go to school and recipient of th Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17, Inspired by co-founders Malala and Ziauddin Yousafzai, Malala Fund's aim is to raise girls' voices and ensure every girl has access to 12 years of free, safe, quality primary and secondary education. -
Save The Children
Save the Children tackles child poverty in the UK through a range of programmes including providing aid to children in need before, during and after emergency; providing families on low income household essentials such as beds, books and toys, and partnering with Beanstalk to teach reading skills to the country's poorest children so that every child is able to fulfil their potential whatever their background.
One Light Global
One Light Global was created to provide aid for Syrian refugees in the camps on the island of Lesvos Greece. Donations collected go towards emergency aid: food, clothing, shelter, medicine, transportation, and also for integration projects once families re-settle such as education, healing trauma, and cross-cultural understanding. They are also funding a school and building a community center for women in turkey to provide education for children, widows and impoverished parents who have fled war and oppression in their homeland and are now desperate to create a life of safety and happiness for their families.
Living Heart is a Peruvian and UK Charity set up by founder Sonia Newhouse when she decided to backpack to and volunteer in the Sacred Valley, Peru - at a sprightly 71 years of age. Now 93 this WanderWOmen has set up an NGO that supports over 2500 vulnerable children, women and men and abandoned elderly to help them live a better quality of life and have a brighter future.