Sunday, 31 July 2016

WDF's Exciting New Direction and Zack's Great News

The last few months have been pretty darn stressful for me personally. Ever since I discovered I would be going to Cambridge I made it my mission to track down all the scholarships and funds I could, because I felt I simply had to go there, and there was no Plan B. When people would suggest a Plan B I would shrug them off; 'I can do this', I assured them, 'don't you worry!' But I did worry, I worried that I wouldn't get the funding, I worried that I would let people down, and I worried that it wouldn't be the right time in my life to undertake something as groundbreaking as a move to a new country at the beginning of a marriage, to start something difficult in unfamiliar settings.

This is what I was dreaming of...but sometimes dreams have to change

Turns out, I was right to worry. Cambridge, to put it simply, just isn't going to happen guys. I tried to be as positive and - some would say, naive - about it as I possibly could, but Cambridge just isn't within my price range at the moment, having unfortunately failed to acquire the necessary funds. After all that waiting, all that filling out application forms for scholarships, for the PhD courses and for other things that I never want to do again; after tracking down references, staying up late fussing over stupid menial things like where I would live in the UK or whether I could succeed, I am almost relieved to say that the whole process is over.

As bad as the news was, it is incredibly lifting to no longer have to wait on news that could make or break your future. Just being freed from that burden would be a cause to celebrate, even if that sounds somewhat morbid. Yet, I also have good reason to celebrate because I managed to get a new job! If you listened to the latest State of the Podcast Address then you will know this, but if you've come here to find out more, then you've come to right place!

The Leprosy Mission (TLM) is where I'll be working, and my official title is Researcher for Public Relations,Media and Programme Management. For this role my responsibilities will include:

i) assimilating information, trends and data in areas related to TLM’s work
ii) extract key facts, data and illustrations and to present them in user friendly ways to the communications team
iii) identify, suggest and plan opportunities for the presentation of key information
iv) draft briefing documents and other raw material for use by the communications team
v) manage the ready storage of and access to materials
vi) present and communicate material in effective ways

On top of this, I will work mostly from home, and I will be under the direction of the CEO regarding what to do next and when it must be done by. I compared it to researching for a book in the example of a history professor; the end result will be a body of work as in that case, but my work will directly impact the lives of potentially millions of people, and my findings and conclusions will arm the hard working and dedicated staff at TLM so that they are better equipped to reach out and deal with the problems that they are faced with.

The sad fact is that Leprosy is not eradicated, it has simply dropped off the public radar, but all this needs to change, and we can make it happen!

This all begs the question: TLM is a charity, right? So what kind of work do they do? Well, the specialist focus of TLM is on the alleviation of suffering (physical, mental, social, economic and spiritual) of people affected by leprosy and a range of other Neglected Tropical Diseases. TLM offers its essential services irrespective of race, gender, religion, political affiliation or any other classification that others may use to divide or discriminate with. It does, in short, incredible work, contacting and aiding only the poorest of the poor, and helping them based on what they actually need.

The disease maintains a terrifying reputation - despite the decline of it in the Western World

For over 140 years The Leprosy Mission has been the voice of those too poor or too marginalised to be heard. It has worked mostly under the radar to raise funds, tackle the disease where it resides, aid the people it afflicts and assist the communities and families in rebuilding afterwards. No longer will TLM's work go unnoticed though, because with an aim towards expanding in order to help out more individuals, TLM is aiming at reaching out to the Irish and World public through a series of campaigns for raising awareness and increasing the profile of the previously incognito charity. This is where I come in - I will be an integral part of making TLM known to a wider audience, so that this audience will spread the word, and more resources will then hopefully become available

Leprosy has a hideous effect on the nervous system and disfigures the digits of the human body, resulting in people being marginalised from their communities and excluded from their families.

That is in a nutshell what my job will entail, and what my position means for that organisation. If you'd like to learn more about The Leprosy Mission please visit their site:
If you'd like to learn more about my new job, please send me a hello and I'd be happy to give you more info.

The disease was reported in biblical times, and retains its awful impact on the population in the poorest regions of the world.


This development is of course a blessing, since it gives me something to sink my teeth into - with a much better salary and a number of professional prospects for me as time goes on. I'm by no means selling out to the man, but I am seeing that it is important to invest time and energy in a genuine plan, rather than a dream. Cambridge very likely still will happen, but for the moment I am very happy to make this job my own, and also plan for my marriage without worrying about money or where we'd live or how troublesome it'd be to live somewhere new at such an early stage in my life. It is not a no, it is simply a not yet.

I would like to repeat my thank you's once again to everyone that wished me well, and in particular those that donated their hard earned money to me. I hope you won't feel like your money has gone nowhere, since it has greatly helped and motivated me over the past half year, even if it won't be paying for my attendance in Cambridge. I will never forget the absolute outpouring of well-wishes and donations that I got from you guys when I found out I'd been accepted in January. While I am by no means giving up, I hope you will accept that postponing that dream makes sense for the moment.

So thanks for reading; as I mentioned also in the State of the Podcast Address, I will soon be releasing a new book and perhaps even a new show. Stay tuned for both those exciting ventures, but I would also ask you to support my ventures into YouTube as well by liking, sharing and subscribing to the show on YT. You can find the first episode below. At the mo, YT is on the backburner as I invest into other things, but it is denfinitely somewhere I want to go, so I hope you'll stay with me on it.

Other than that, I'd like to say a big thanks once again for welcoming me back to your ears. Soon we'll embark on an incredible Louis-filled journey together - see you there!