Daryl Boxall, Investment and Pension Manager, AXA UK
As the world’s leading insurance brand, AXA cares passionately about protecting people. As part of this commitment, they care about giving back to communities too – and not just the communities on their doorstep. I recently won a work competition and the prize, and well, let’s just say it’s amazing: a place in a 460km cycle challenge from Vietnam to Cambodia to raise money for CARE International, AXA’s global charity partner. The actual competition was to write a 250-word piece about CARE and lendwithcare, CARE International UK’s micro-finance initiative.
lendwithcare provides microloans to entrepreneurs in developing countries to establish and develop their own businesses. I’ve made loans to two projects through lendwithcare, a fish farmer in Cambodia, and a sewing collective in Benin. Lending is more sustainable than a charitable donation, as you provide the means for people to help themselves break the cycle of poverty. You’re making a direct and very real difference to people’s lives. So when I heard about the competition, and the incredible prize, it was an opportunity too good to miss. And yes, I was the winner!
The bike ride itself starts this week. It’s going to be a real privilege to visit these two amazing countries, and to see first-hand the great work of CARE’s overseas projects. The reality for me though, is that sitting at a desk for 40 hours a week doesn’t translate to me being able to sit in a bike saddle for ten days. I’ve a bit of training to do, that’s for sure!
Thanks for reading, everyone. I’ll be back in touch soon with the next instalment of my adventure.