Sandra Smith, a fellow blogger and writer is promoting the charitable foundation she is a part of, hoping to share a bit more about their noble, good work. She has kindly agreed to give us a closer look and understanding during this interview.
Sandra is passionate about her charity, and it is not hard to see why. Freedom and Empowerment Campaign, which was started in July 2012 has a much-needed mission and life-changing goal. This mission and goal being to support victims of domestic abuse, create housing projects around the world , among other important projects.
Mrs. Smith, how did you come to know of this charity?
Please, call me Sandra, I came to know this charity through face-book I saw Kate Gardner promoting this charity which resonated with me as I had been through some of the victims that she was trying to help and Kate was a friendly person and full of knowledge.
Why is it important to you? Why did you decide this was an issue you wanted to get involved with?
I would probably need hundreds of pages to write about everything that has happened in my life, so I will keep it brief. My mother was abused by my father and it made me very scared of what was happening. They tried to keep it secret, but as I slept in the next room to them they did not hide it well from me, I heard the crying, and sometimes I heard glass smashing or thuds and bangs in the room. One of my brothers was such a bully to me and at one time when we were older he tried to throw me down a set of stairs, but through sheer strength I managed to hold on. I was also bullied at school throughout my life firstly, for having an accent. I was Scottish and I was living in York UK, I was teased about my clothes which were either too big for me or far too small as I always had second hand as well as having my haircut by our father with a bowl placed over my head. So bullying has always been with me and stayed with me for most of my life. Look out for my book coming out in summer 2014.
Besides a supporter of the charity, is there another role you play within the organization?
Yes, I am one of the Administrators of Freedom and Empowerment which means that I get to promote the company on a global basis. I also come up with ideas which the CEO Kate implements or gives to me to implement which helps me grow as a person.
Could you tell us more about their plans for the future and hopes?
We are planning many things such as a magazine and a radio station. Our first plan is to get our charity status and that means getting funds. So if anyone has any spare cash or wants to support a charity in a run or to slim then go on the website and request some forms and we will send it to you. Our main priority is to be able to fund and buy modern furnished apartments suitable for the victims to come and feel safe, bringing the children as well. These centres would have counsellors, benefits advice, employment skills advisors, and crèche/nurseries for the children, all over the world, to help them all become overcomers and be able to educate others.
Another more immediate plan is to educate, young people about teenage dating, rape and how to look for the the signs of perpetrators within normal relationships. Also we would like to educate the police force and social services so they can reach the people that we can’t.
Could you tell us a bit more about the founders and cause?
The founder Kate Gardner is a wonderful, inspirational person. Kate had been brought up in a family of domestic violence, followed by adult abusive relationships and at the age of thirty one through the stress of domestic violence she suffered a stroke. As she was improving from her stroke her fourteen year old was assaulted. Kate was devastated, but unlike a lot of people who had been thrown a few bad cards she picked herself up by her boots and turned the negative into a positive and she started to put herself on positive thinking courses and then she went onto face-book to start to talk to like-minded people about her situation and being the entrepreneur that she started F&E with dreams and visions and the rest they say is history.
I see this charity is far reaching, having representatives in several countries and is growing. What is the goal of the organization?
The goal of the organization is to have ambassadors in every country in the world with Admins to help as well. In six months the charity went from a UK charity to a worldwide one. At present we have ambassadors in UK, USA, Canada, Germany and Australia. We also have Partners in Progress which are companies that sponsor us, so there are many ways people can help us. We are always willing to listen to people from all over the world so by blogging we can achieve this, as long as people read it.
What do you hope to see come from this charity?
That is a big question. We would like to achieve all that I have discussed plus being on national television, speaking to groups all over the UK and the world, such WI, universities, colleges and schools. We would like to be able to have a free phone number for victims to reach any of the centres anywhere in the world; to have the centres everywhere but ultimately for people to be educated and for it to cease in the world.
If people wish to get involved, how can they help?
Go to our website freedomandempowerment.com there you will find all the information you need you can find us on face-book, twitter and Linkedin. You can also make donations on the site using credit cards etc. You can also buy Empowerment courses and books by worldwide Authors who are part of the group. I am sure you can find something to join in with and help this charity grow to the largest charity in the world.
I’d like to say a big thank you to Sandra for her time and the valuable information she shared with us. This is an amazing foundations with a truly special and much-needed mission and I wish them all the best!