Sharing our hearts

Suzanne Hodnett, Media Officer for Kisumu Children Trust, talks about her role in the charity and why it is important to her

This is the first in the “Sharing our hearts” series. I took a while to decide whether to write it or not but the more I thought about it, the more it evolved and became something that I felt I’d like to ask more of us to do at Kisumu Children.

We recently had an AGM in the UK and many people travelled from all over the South East and some from further afield to get to the meeting in person. The traffic was very bad on that day and I got caught up in it myself so when I arrived at the AGM, I had not only travelled 2 and a half hours for a journey that should take just over an hour but I also arrived an hour late. Flustered as I was, I didn’t have chance to rehearse my presentation and had to just… well, go for it! As a result I missed what was the most crucial thing for me which was to share my heart for this work and instead I felt that it came out in what I can only describe as a formula! That was what sparked this idea… a space for any of our supporters, trustees, staff or just interested readers connected to the work of this incredible charity to have time and a place where they can share their hearts for why they get involved.

As Media Officer for Kisumu Children Trust, I help publicise the work that our kind supporters achieve through their generous gifts and I love to tell stories of what is happening in Kisumu, the big things and the little things. To me, this is the best way of publicising what happens through showing the real impact of our work on individual human lives. At the AGM, I was able to explain how I work in the promotions role, what news and media is available, and how it performs in raising awareness. But this is actually the smallest part. Marketing and Promotion as a job role sounds so clinical. It’s very process driven covering methodologies across all the different channels of communication. If you ever decide to go to college and study Marketing and Promotions, you’ll learn them! But what you’ll also learn in this day and age is that promotions is about using your skills to teach about the things you care about so you can connect with the people who care about them too. That might be about the latest model of mobile phone or a gadget which saves people time or it may be about the plight of the poorest communities across the world. It’s not about leading anyone into giving when it’s not really what they care about or to give when they can’t afford it… or, at least, it shouldn’t be. As Christians, we’re all called to give our money in this life but to the things that are on our hearts. For me, I love marketing, it’s a fascinating subject and I want to use it to introduce you to the wonderful continent of Africa, and some of the incredible people I have met there. I want to introduce you to the lovely children and tell you about their lives. I want to help you learn about how difficult things are for them and their families and how desperately poor they are yet with the strength and resilience to keep going that I have only ever seen before in my grandparents through surviving a World War. These children and families are fascinating people and I feel so blessed and privileged to have been welcomed into their lives and to get to know their stories and now to be able to tell you about them and what’s going on all those miles away.

This is what marketing and promotions means to me. This is my incredible job a few hours a week. If it touches your heart and calls you to respond to learn more and maybe even help a family or sponsor a child then even better… trust me, you WILL change a life… but only if it is right for you and your circumstances. If not, then please do support the cause that you are called to in whatever way you can and we welcome you to just enjoy reading the stories from Kisumu and maybe help us through prayer 😊

If you are one of our supporters in any way, and would like to “Share your Heart” for this work, then please get in touch: I’m hoping to make it into a podcast series with interviews you can listen to and important debates – maybe you would like to be our first interviewee!