Despite her youth, Saffura is already a Plan International veteran. Since moving to Australia from Kashmir seven years ago, she’s worked her way from being a fundraiser, to leading the face to face fundraising team. She then brought her fundraising knowledge in-house, joining our call centre and now managing the Donor Care Team.
So, with that breadth of experience, who better to represent Plan International as a volunteer ambassador on our Peru Trek for Girls in October this year, than Saffura?
Plan International trips are more than an adventure, they are an incredible opportunity to take on a trek or cycle challenge as a team and build lasting friendships with like-minded individuals. The Peru Trek for Girls team was diverse in background and trekking experience, but were all ready to support girls’ rights and embark on the trip of a lifetime. And they achieved both: the team total currently stands at $37,474 and they trekked for 5 days along the legendary Inca Trail from the sacred Urubamba River to Lost City of the Incas – Machu Picchu.
Taking on this challenging but rewarding trip in support of girls’ rights was a no brainer for Saffura.
Indeed her dedication towards and belief in gender equality and equal access to opportunities for girls is what drives her and continues to carry her into the Plan International office every day.
An enthusiastic fundraiser, Saffura put her experience into action right away. The team aspect spoke to her competitive spirit, and seeing others hit their targets just made her work harder to achieve her own.
In addition to holding a couple of events to reach her target, Saffura owes the bulk of her fundraising to one-on-one conversations with people, only after which she would send the link to her fundraising page
“I didn’t think of it as a massive goal, I just did it one ask at a time. Person to person is the best way.” She explains.
“Then I reached my target, so I increased it to $5,000. I also wanted to show others that they shouldn’t be afraid of fundraising and how meaningful it can be when you know the funds will be going to support Plan International’s work to support girls’ rights.”
We all have a reason for taking on challenges, and Saffura’s motivation was a particularly powerful one – it was the opportunity to come into her body and slowly heal after an injury. Just after turning 30, Saffura fractured her hip.
“During that time it was hard for me to even think about going for a walk let alone a 5-day hike in that terrain and altitude.” She says. “So it was something that I could look forward to when I got off my crutches.”
During the trip, Saffura enjoyed getting to know her fellow Plan International supporters and she was excited to share her knowledge of our programmes.
But the thing she loved most about travelling as a group was the support she and the other trekkers received along the way:
“The entire team supported others whenever they needed it, and that was just beautiful to see.”
In total the team trekked 41km along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. They came from diverse backgrounds, and had varying degrees of trekking and fundraising experience. But they made it to the top, together.
Looking back at her experience, would Saffura do the trek again?
“ABSOLUTELY! Getting to know a new group of people, learning about a different culture, and meeting my personal challenge was incredible.”
Her next challenge? Everest Base Camp.
Perhaps we’ll let her rest first though.
Like to know more about joining a Plan International adventure? We’re heading to Vietnam in 2020! Express your interest here.