Growing up in South Africa gave Pip Findlay a love of nature and the environment. Later, in New Zealand, she learned of rhinos being poached to the verge of extinction and began a fundraising initiative to help. Seeing what a small group of people can accomplish together when they care about a cause now sees her making a difference in the lives of people in Malawi and Myanmar. She also makes a mean banana loaf!
I’m a South African born-and-bred girl. I grew up in Johannesburg. Nelson Mandela became President in my early years of primary school. It was a time for South Africans to celebrate as a Rainbow Nation in the spirit of Ubuntu – the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.
My parents were amazing at showcasing the world to me. We camped and hiked a lot. My grandfather can spend ages inspecting a dung beetle. He taught me to really stop and see past the ordinary and take notice of the small things to appreciate what the natural world has to offer.
After I completed high school I moved to Cape Town and completed my B.Bus.Sc Marketing (Hons) at the University of Cape Town. I fell in love with Cape Town and today it is still one of my favourite cities in the world.
I met my Kiwi hubby on my OE in Whistler, Canada. Visa issues made it difficult for him to move to SA and that prompted our move to NZ together. I now call myself a Kiwi and really do love NZ like home.
I spent time working in the corporate world but eventually it felt like we were constantly chasing fairly meaningless targets – always after the next percentage market share and launching products to fuel gross consumerism.
Philanthropy has always been important to me. As far back as I remember I have always wanted to give back and help out where I can. If there was a bake sale on at school and the money was going to a good cause, I would always participate.
I was certain as a child that I was going to grow up to become a game ranger. I’ve always had a soft spot for wildlife and conservation. I’m a big David Attenborough and Jane Goodall fan! In early 2014, I read about the rhino poaching crisis in South Africa. Although based in NZ, I started an online community called Walking for Rhinos to help raise awareness and fundraise for rhino orphanages. This was the ‘eye-opening’ moment for me – once I started my fundraising journey and realised I was making a difference, I haven’t looked back.
I resigned from the corporate arena, fell pregnant, and concentrated on raising our happy baby boy, Harrison. ADC Microfinance found me when Harrison was about five months old and I’ve enjoyed working for them since.
ADC supports and empowers budding entrepreneurs in Myanmar and Malawi through microfinance so they, and their communities, can work their way out of poverty. As campaigns manager I organise key annual fundraising events, bring new charity partners on board, manage the communications, engage with our donors and supporters, and showcase the difference the funds raised have had on individuals’ lives.
ADC Microfinance has offered me so much. I’m able to be a mum and work at the same time. That flexibility has been incredible. I get to do what I love: engaging with charity partners and building long-standing relationships that benefit us all.
I feel fulfilled like I haven’t with a job before. My values are completely aligned with what ADC Microfinance does. The team is great and most importantly, I’m doing work that is truly making a difference in the lives of others. How could you not love that?
A regular donation via onepercentcollective.org helps ADC Microfinance to empower people in Myanmar and Malawi to start their own business and forge an improved and sustainable lifestyle.
As told to Ben Woodward. Image by Tobias Kraus.