In July, we welcomed five new trustees to our Board. We have been talking to them individually in our #HumansCare posts, to share a bit more about them: their background, what made them want to join Carers Worldwide and what they will bring to our team.
We started with Jonathan Freeman, our new Chair of Trustees, then met Maria Andrews and today we’re hearing from Maveen Pereira. Maveen is Director of Programmes at Traidcraft Exchange. She is a development professional with over 40 years of experience of grassroots and international development, with specific expertise in fair trade and gender. Read on to find out why she is so passionate about caring and her hopes for carers in the future.
Hi Maveen, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am of Indian origin but have been in the UK for the last 20 years. I have spent most of my life in the field of development both in India as well as supporting development work in other countries in South Asia and East Africa in particular. My passion has been to support communities with vulnerabilities to get the best returns for their labour and ensure that they are treated with respect and dignity, recognising the immense contribution they are making to the world. I am really proud to have supported change in the lives of 1000s of households.
What makes caring and carer wellbeing such an important issue for you?
I am a carer myself and I have seen how my caring role can get overwhelming at times – having the space to share this role, take a break from it, is so important for my wellbeing. There are millions of men and women who are doing the same and much more than me and are being weighed down as they don’t have the respite they need to rejuvenate and come back stronger, to allow them to stay positive and pass on this positivity to the ‘cared for’ individual.
I also feel it is critical that we recognise the contribution of carers to the wellbeing of society, the millions of dollars that they save the health systems across the world, and the protection that they provide to millions of vulnerable children and adults. It is a shame that these services are not recognised, and it is really important for governments to acknowledge and support carers in the best possible way.
Why Carers Worldwide?
Carers worldwide is perhaps the only organisation that is focusing on carers in South Asia – where the caring role is seen to be part of people’s lives and responsibilities. There are no support services for carers, though there may be support for the ‘cared for’, so this is an opportunity to expand these services and bring on board many more carers who are desperate for help. Carers Worldwide is a small bunch of deeply committed people who are ambitious to reach out and expand their services. I am excited to support this effort.
What will you personally bring to the Carers Worldwide board of trustees?
I bring my experience of being a carer, I bring knowledge of the region, and I bring an understanding of the context in which carers operate, which will complement the amazing skills of the Board of Trustees.
How essential do you think a Global Carers’ Movement is in achieving recognition and support for carers?
A Global Carers’ Movement is extremely important to demonstrate the value that carers bring to society, to governments and to our health systems. The needs of carers must be prioritised so that they can continue to play their roles in the most effective manner. We must ensure that their health and wellbeing is deemed to be just as important as that of the person they are caring for.
What are your ultimate hopes for carers in the future?
My hope is that the role that carers play is recognised by government, business, and every member of our society, so that they are provided the recognition, respect and support that they deserve.
And finally, what one thing would you take with you to a desert island?
Lots of tea to rejuvenate me from time to time!