In February 2004, before I moved to work in the City in London, I went in what was to become the most important trip of my life: a 4 month volunteering experience in Mozambique. Many around me thought I might not come back, others just judged me insane. In their own way, all of them were right. A piece of me never came back and will always be connected to Mozambique, the nuns, the children, all the little ones! The piece of me that came back did so changed, unable to resist to the attraction of how much could be done with so little.
Before coming back I “bumped” into 30 children in an Orphanage and wondered what they lived from – “luck and a helping hand here and there” was the answer. I thought that could be changed, with just A Little Gesture. And so it started that year in Portugal, the adventure that would change my life then and every day.
Starting only with 50 children and €7’500 in donations from mostly family and friends, we then embarked on an ambitious expansion in 2008 while I was doing my MBA in Harvard Business School. Making Little Gestures grew addictive and we enlarged the number of sponsored children and invested in projects to support community infra-structure and sustainable development. A Little Gesture Portugal grew to c. 800 children in 2011 and we now proudly set up A Little Gesture UK as a trust and registered charity.
Every day, I make my Little Gesture in my scarce free time. Some days are harder than others. Working in Investment Banking, this commitment can make life truly challenging. But each time I think of slowing down, I know I can take one more step, try one more thing, help one more child to smile. I am surrounded by people who love me and are understanding of my passion for this little change that I can make in the world.