Good Kid, Maad City: Weeks 7&8

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a blur. Being involved with GiveMeTap operations as well as PR/communications means that many days are spent just getting things done, as opposed to big events… I want to say this is my excuse for not writing a Week 7 entry, but I’m sure i’ll be caught out sooner than later as I actually spent quite a bit of last week on holiday!

IT IS SUMMER, YOU KNOW!

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So right now i’m going to just talk about 2 amazing things that have happened over the last couple of weeks. Both have added substantially to my PR portfolio (although one has  significantly more than the other!)

Firstly, I was interviewed by London Calling, who loves GiveMeTap and wanted a feature to share with London. Read it HERE. This was amazing as it has now gone on their website and I felt like a minor celebrity for about 5 minutes. It was nice! Today, three of my friends and family have shared my interview on social media, showering me with kind words of praise. Thank you – you know who you are!

2013-08-15 23.24.18Secondly, and more importantly, a lead that I had been chasing had finally been closed. We were published in the most widely distributed and read paper on public transport in the UK – THE METRO! Yes,  you heard right! THE ACTUAL METRO. For years I have been reading that infamous publication and not just for the guilty pleasures or the horoscope! I knew that when I came to GiveMeTap, it would be my aim, not only to have a print published piece, but get into the Metro. I DID IT! I managed to bag Edwin an interview with a writer who happened to LOVE what GiveMeTap were doing. He wrote an amazing piece on us and the traction that day was UNBELIEVABLE. Sales were through the roof, people were talking about us and people were even recognising us. Again, I felt like a minor celebrity but for a bit longer than 5 minutes this time! 🙂

You can read the piece HERE.

Watching this business grow is amazing. Not only is the work satisfying, but it is so much fun! I genuinely feel sometimes, that this is all a dream. I hate the thought of pinching myself and waking up at my university desk writing an application for a job I don’t want at a firm I don’t want to be working for. A good friend and mentor of mine once told me, “Never compromise on what you want from life. By all means ‘shop around’. Explore all your options. But just don’t compromise…” Wise words from a wise woman. I intend to follow them!

Over & Out

Good Kid, Maad City: Week 6

Hello all!

Another short but sweet entry! This week has been as busy as ever, as you may have figured since I have been less responsive on most media forms (This is rare for me!).

We launched our summer campaign, MindTheTap, on Tuesday and have been ‘all systems go’. This week, and more specifically, that day, really tested my ability to deliver under pressure. We had a very tight deadline to launch MindTheTap and needed to work together as well as individually to achieve success. The first feeling of ‘work pressure’ had hit me, and it was surprisingly addictive. I loved the rush of being productive and just getting things done!

It also led me to achieve a major goal – my first real published article! On the PR side of my placement, this is big news as it starts of my portfolio of material, while showing I can pitch to journalists. That bit has been pretty scary, if i’m honest! However, I am getting more confident with time! You can read my piece here: http://www.greenwisebusiness.co.uk/news/green-sme-givemetap-signs-major-water-bottle-deal-with-deloitte-4043.aspx.

I’m really appreciating all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes of a business like this. You have to live and breathe what you do without over exerting yourself and compromising your long-term success. Everyday is worth it when I think of the bigger picture of why we do what we do, and the amazing results – we contribute to helping people survive.

Very proud to be here. I hope that everyone reading this takes time to like our facebook page, maybe buy a bottle, and feel as proud as I am! 🙂

Over & Out

If you haven’t already, find out what adoseofpersonalwhim is about in About Sanum Jain

Good Kid, Maad City: Week 5 (this is a good’un…)

FIRSTLY I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all friends, family, people from afar, who have read my blog. I hope you are all enjoying the story of my journey. I definitely enjoy writing about it. 

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This week has been intense – probably the best week so far and also one of the most eventful weeks in a very long time. On Tuesday, I graduated from the University of Manchester with a 2.1 degree in Economics & Development Studies. Graduating is an extremely surreal experience. It consists of getting your gown fitted by a stranger, hoping you sit next to someone you know in the hall and then ensuring that your family takes you for an extravagant meal. I was lucky enough to get fitted by someone from my hometown, be seated next to a guy I knew from a first year tutorial and found a secret, beautiful pizzaria to celebrate with my family. However, Graduation itself, is a production line. A queue of students, being stamped with some sort of ‘seal of approval’ and ready to be shipped off and shelved with the rest of the world. It was a happy but somehow a depressing few hours.

Onto more exciting things, GiveMeTap have been hard at work but having a bit too much fun as well. Edwin (my boss) came back from Ghana after unveiling the latest water project. He showed us hundreds of photos from his time with the people of Kpakpalamuni, in the Upper West region of Ghana. It was hard to see the conditions that these people live in but then seeing the water pump we installed just reassured me of why I chose to be apart of GiveMeTap. We just helped around 850 people by giving them access to clean drinking water and practically eradicating the chances of them dying from water-related diseases.

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Many of you may have seen me plaster Facebook with the events of Friday. Friday was the best day of my time in London so far! GMT were lucky enough to be approached by the BBC to do a segment on tap water as part of another feature. We filmed outside FlatPlanet, a flat bread eatery on Great Marlborough Street. I very much recommend you visit for lunch, by the way. Amazing food and people! Edwin shot an interview where he got to talk about the GMT scheme and officially place the Tap sticker on the FlatPlanet door.

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The Droplets’ moment of fame came when we hit Carnaby Street. Ben and I were filmed talking to members of the public about tap water and about GMT. Needless to say, handing out flyers was frustrating and did not receive a great reception, however I plucked up the courage to talk to people and encourage them to talk on telly for 30 seconds. Remember, my childhood dream was to be a Blue Peter presenter, so I needed to step up! It was such a fun day and really got us all at GMT really hyped! We hope the segment will air in a few weeks.

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Hold your horses before you jump from here to Facebook, as the day did not end there… as a PR intern, I’ve been trying to find ways of boosting GMT’s publicity. It just so happened that because my (amazing) aunt spent the week mentoring at Kings Collage for a Space Outreach programme, she got to work with Astronaut Kenneth Ham and his wife and astronaut trainer, Michelle Ham. Ken had discussed with his students on the programme, the importance of looking after our planet and how he could see from space the damage we were doing to our home. I was able to use this opportunity to ask Ken a few questions for GiveMeTap, about the importance of reducing waste and protecting everyone on our planet. My first mini interview with a renowned  Space Personality, a casual dose of Pimms o’clock and conversations about space food. Not bad!

The day ended with a spontaneous trip to Riverside Theatre to see the powerful Nirbhaya, a play based on the events last December – the Delhi Gang-rape. Nirbhaya was the name given to the victim, meaning Fearless One. This play was less a performance, but more a theatrical sequence of testimonials. Real stories from acting personalities who had experienced the toils of being a female in India, Pakistan and even America and chose now to reveal their stories. I didn’t realise until after the performance that these Women were telling their own stories. This wasn’t acting. This was real. The Delhi Rape posed as a turning point for all 5 of these Women who then chose to share their most personal experiences with us through theatre. Powerful, Intense and left me lost for words. I will be writing a review of this, hopefully tomorrow, so please please read it. However uncomfortable, it is a must see for everyone, especially young men and women from South Asian backgrounds.Overall, this has been such a productive, intense and emotional week. It is probably the first time I have felt that I would love to tell you all individually what I have done and explain every detail! For those of you who will be lucky enough to escape this, I hope you have had an equally as amazing week. For those of you who I may see soon, BE PREPARED!

Over & Out.

Good Kid, Maad City: An Introduction (London, GiveMeTap & my journey)

This week I have embarked on an exciting journey. I have moved to UK’s concrete jungle as the PR/Social Media Intern for social enterprise, GiveMeTap.

I must admit, I didn’t realise how ‘loaded’ that last sentence is; A move, a title, a company and a name. It is impossible for me to tell this piece of news to anyone without being subjected to a list of questions about each of these components. These are all questions from people I know, love and very much miss now that i’m far from home. I wish I could explain in depth to everyone about the amazing work I will be doing over the Summer, helping villages in Africa through reducing plastic waste in the UK, however, after a long day it just won’t be possible. Frankly, you know I’ll be too busy watching The Mindy Project…

Hence, Good Kid Maad City. This feature series will act as a communicator to all of those who I wish I could talk to personally. I will (most probably, weekly) update you all on what i’m actually doing at GiveMeTap, as well as my experiences in London, outside of office hours.

This week, I have already learned so much about water and about how social media can be effectively managed for business. It is only the end of day 2, but I have invaded the Twittersphere, improved my writing through a Press Release and have even brainstormed some great 1000883_10151497305901915_11996461_npress ideas with The Water Guy himself. I have taken a shot of water, tweeted a really lame ‘selfie’ and have realised that a lot more of this behaviour will occur. Hopefully my blogging activity (and quality) will increase through managing the GiveMeTap blog and posting my  stuff on here.

I cannot wait to share this journey with you all and subsequently the message of sustainability. I hope I can encourage you to buy a bottle and suggest a tap… also please find me a great job so I can spend more time on this than job applications…

Catch up with you soon!

A story shared by the social enterprise, GiveMeTap. ImageOfTheWeek

A Story shared by the social enterprise, GiveMeTap.

Click on the picture to discover what GiveMeTap are about!

An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids that who ever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he told them to run they all took each others hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that as one could have had all the fruits for himself they said: ”UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?”

‘UBUNTU’ in the Xhosa culture means: “I am because we are”

We are taught in the West to look after ourselves and that it is a “dogeatdog” world. Ideologies matter!

Over and out.

FGM: Frighteningly Gruesome Mentalities.

An issue that first hit my computer screen during my time in 6th form, was an issue that still sends shivers down my spine and boils my blood. It was through reading about such a practice that I realised how truly horrible culture and social convention can be to those who are, globally, most likely to be marginalized. It is all in this 3-word phrase:

Female. Genital. Mutilation.

a.k.a. female circumcision. I won’t bother with a full description of what it entails, as most of that information (and to be fair the views on this post) will be readily available on wiki. After reading a description, i’m sure all the women reading this will be crossing their legs and thanking their respective Higher Powers for being born in a modern or forward-looking culture.

You may start to question the very concept of cultural practices when you realise such a ritual exists. It is widely known and accepted, albeit very unfortunate, that girls in developing countries are married young, poorly educated and forced into early motherhood. However, I believe that FGM is the worst part of this social convention. It subjects girls to the most terrible forms of gender inequality through an act that does ALL harm and NO good. What does the ritual symbolise?

  • It symbolises the inferiority of Women and their duty to conform to their patriarch’s ideologies in all circumstances.
  • It represents a hypocrisy regarding sexual behaviour, whereby women should fear intimacy. It is seen as a prevention of premarital sex in communities where rape and abuse is all but uncommon.
  • It suggests it is acceptable for women’s health and lives to be compromised at the expense of cultural ideals.

At 8 years old, I was playing with my Barbie doll. At 10, I was studying to get into Grammar School. At 12, I met some of my best friends. At the same time, another 8 year old was having her clitoris publicly slit. At 10, she was married. At 12, she more than likely died in childbirth.

The purpose of this post was for awareness. Please take the time to read http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/ for a better explanation of what FGM entails and represents.
Over and out.