Photo of Natasha McCreesh

Natasha McCreesh

Natasha McCreesh is The Joy Bringer, describing herself as a ‘truth-telling collaborator’. Based in Huddersfield, she has a passion for supporting communities in Liberia.

She says: “My shared vision with Simon Crowe is to, each year, take committed, inspiring and heart-centred people out to Liberia to experience the power of service as a route to deepen self leadership. We do this by introducing those who join us to self sustainable projects in Duwehn Town and Monrovia.

For the people in Liberia that we connect with, this is not about helping, it is about enabling. It is not about giving aid, it is about investing. We create a mutual exchange of contribution and growth. We believe that Leaders create Leaders.”

Photo by John Early, The Light Monkey.

Who will the initiative help/who has it helped already?

Natasha says: “In Duwehn Town we are working with the community on an agricultural project to diversify income for the town, enabling the building of a school by the community for the community and strengthening the football team, as the community believes in the empowering benefits of being involved in sports.

We already have an NGO registered, land registered and architect drawings complete. We have identified a project manager, contractor and community champion.

In Monrovia, we are coaching and mentoring young Liberian NGO leaders and entrepreneurs. These groups and individuals that we work with have great visions of their own and our work with them is about focus, expansion, resilience and sustainable growth.”

What’s worked?

“Some of our previous leaders have chosen to return to Africato begin projects of their own and we have been able to set up meetings with Government ministers to facilitate this, others have gone home and created projects in their own communities.

Many have created more powerful client relationships whilst others have literally changed careers or started new companies. They have all wholeheartedly changed the direction their lives as a result of saying YES to coming to Liberia.

The communities are already seeing that they have choices, that they can use resourcefulness when they don’t have resources and projects are growing and strengthening as a result.”

What have you learnt? Any challenges?

“That it can be easy to be overwhelmed by the scale of potential out there. So many projects we can be involved with, so many individuals who seek investment. Saying no with compassion and walking away without guilt is the biggest challenge.”

What’s next?

“Our next trip in March 2018 – at this point we will be taking up to 15 people with us! The agricultural project is at the stage of breaking ground. The interesting aspect of our trip this time will be about building agreement and commitment from the village for continued and consistent support of the project.

We will be having a town hall meeting with all the various group leaders (18 groups represented in the town) to identify needs and contribution approach.”

What advice, contacts or resources would help you?

“We really need connections into corporate fundraising/CSR investment. Our commitment to the town is that we will fund the building/the kick start to any project, if they can show us how they will sustain it.”

Why we’re sharing these stories

An individual or organisation from each of our five categories will be recognised at our Igniting Inspiration recognition event in November, but we want to publish all relevant stories to spread awareness of all the positive work that goes on in our region!