It’s an exciting time to be part of Gecko. Despite the incessant protests of our adulthood and independence to our parents at the time, we were kids when we started this charity. We didn’t know what we were doing, and things like talking to the Charity Commission or organising a fashion show were completely intimidating to us. Some of us were so young that our parents actually took on the official responsiblities on our behalves because we weren’t old enough to be trustees.
As time has gone by we’ve learnt a lot both as individuals and as an organsation. Niki, Yasath and Madu, for example, served on the committee for the Cambridge Sri Lankan society where they honed their event organisation skills and made great friends who’ve since become our newest members. Sem developed her leadership and persuasive (or bullying) skills as the President of Imperial College Marrow – a society that raises awareness about bone marrow donation. Geoff, also known as our ‘token white member’, had his first trip to Sri Lanka and has since started to exhibit symptoms of an ethnicity transplant.
I can’t mention everyone’s accomplishments individually (they’re a talented bunch and this is already going to be a long post), but I can tell you that everyone has grown up in one way or another. Some of us have started companies. Some of us are almost doctors. Some of us have got married, moved countries, dealt with high pressured jobs, started studying Sri Lanka related issues or have become a walking directory of every Sri Lankan restaurant in London (you all know who you are). Most of us have increased our alcohol tolerance.
And as we have grown up, so has Gecko. We’ve learnt how to throw a great fundraising party or cricket tournament. We’ve met war victims and visited under-resourced hospital wards. We’ve learnt more about the issues people face in Sri Lanka and how we can help. We’ve also become great friends, who after all this change and time still share a desire to work towards helping Sri Lanka and to have some fun in the process.
With the knowlege, skills and relationships that we’ve collectively developed or acquired through our amazing new members, we’re finding ourselves doing some really interesting things. At our last meeting we bounced around ideas such as hosting a comedy night, getting involved in microfinance and holding a cross-ethnicity discussion event. We have a brand new website coming soon, and of course our new blog.
Like I said, it’s an exciting time to be part of Gecko.