Progressio welcomes three new Board of Trustee members: Jagat Chatrath, Dan Cook and Andy Waites. Find out why they’ve joined Progressio and what they think of the new Waterproof campaign.
Jagat (pictured above) has worked for the Audit Commission for 25 years and for 11 years with the Home Office in senior management roles. He is a Magistrate in Hertfordshire and volunteers for public sector committees and as a board member of other charities.
"Poverty was widespread in India and was everywhere around me when I was growing up there. Even now, it is estimated to have a third of the world's poor. As a youngster, I was mindful of my relatively privileged background and wanted to see a more equal society. A sense of inequity has lived within me to this day.
"World-wide, more than 1 billion people are suffering from chronic hunger. I believe much more large scale progress is possible and a lot more can be done to develop the very poor countries. Progressio has nailed its colours firmly to the mast by endorsing the Vote Global Manifesto and by standing firmly behind its principles. Despite Progressio being a small player, it is well positioned to play an effective role in fighting global poverty.
"The eradication of extreme poverty and hunger has been the first Millennium Development Goal since 2000. The scale of the problem remains colossal and the challenges are mammoth. Many like me recognise that it is an emergency. There are many more roads to travel if we are to 'make poverty history'.
"The water campaign around water resource management is a significant initiative as water is one of the biggest difficulties for poor communities around the world. Small-scale farmers rely on water to irrigate their crops but they are often deprived of this essential resource. There are underlying deep political and mismanagement issues. It is right that we should work alongside WaterAid and other partners and be a catalyst for change."
Dan (pictured above) studied Engineering Science at Oxford University and has worked in the City for the past 26 years. He grew up in Tanzania and Mauritius and has set up a small charity called Food for Thought (East Africa), which supports students through their secondary education in Tanzania and Kenya. Dan is currently studying for an MSc in International Development.
"My interest in international development stems from growing up as an expat child in Tanzania and Mauritius where we moved for my father’s work. I was initially attracted to working with Progressio because of their central aim of empowering people at grass roots level. Their two pronged approach to combating poverty - by confronting the power structures through advocacy, whilst also directly helping local communities - is what makes Progressio truly unique.
"I’m really excited about the Waterproof campaign, it’s an extremely good idea. The issue is very closely linked with environmental concerns and offers a shared understanding of its importance globally, so it’s a useful way for everyone to get involved. The workshop about the campaign on the Supporters Day was fantastic and Dan’s enthusiasm was infectious!
"It is really important to raise awareness of water distribution around the world and using the issue of water highlights climate change and gives everyone the opportunity to do something about it to help. Through other countries' involvement in the issue of water we are empowering local communities. People whose voices aren’t heard in their own countries can be heard all over the world."
Andy (pictured above) has over 16 years of international development experience gained in a variety of positions at VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) and CAFOD. He currently works as Manager of Service Development at the Cardinal Hume Centre tackling poverty and disadvantage in the UK.
"I became familiar with Progressio’s work through working in CAFOD. My long standing interest and experience in faith based international development organisations will hopefully be an asset to Progressio’s strategic aims.
"The Waterproof campaign is a very timely issue. One of the biggest challenges in Europe and the western world is taking water for granted. In times of economic slowdown people tend to look inwards to helping their own communities. But a supply of clean water is the most basic and fundamental necessity for any society to survive. Climate Change is a big priority in Progressio’s work and water resource management is at the centre of it. Clean water is critical to life and a good example of how we need to prioritise climate change and preserving the world’s natural resources."
Photos © Layton Thompson/ Progressio