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Kit Rigden

City: Fordingbridge

Country: United Kingdom

Impact Narrative

Kit writes, “Currently I am moving around the world as a professional house sitter, whilst also teaching English as a foreign language. I feel that in my capacity as a house sitter I can provide a unique and localised effort for raising awareness of global population issues.

I am using house sitting as a means to explore a disparate variety of societies with a view toward finding somewhere I feel at home and able to contribute meaningfully. A huge part of this is discovering the unique ways different people manage to develop a sustainable existence. And of course, meeting these people themselves and hearing their lessons from life. As a house sitter I am invited into people’s homes to integrate myself into their communities in their absence, whilst looking after their pets and property. In this role a “handover” between the homeowner and myself typically lasts for a couple of days up to a week (after lengthy email and Skype correspondence). I propose to use this time to share your book and discuss its message with the homeowners, with a view toward setting up some sort of local effort to raise awareness of the issues involved. This could include (with your permission, of course) exhibiting content from the book in local halls, sharing leaflets, using the book in advanced English classes (I typically teach during most of my housesits), or simply organising small scale community discussion around the literature. Crucially though what is appealing about this idea is that the homeowner themselves are already fully integrated and involved in the community which I am joining- their ideas for raising the issues coupled with their position will provide a constantly unique approach to sharing information from your book. (Of course, they may not be interested in such a project. However the vast majority of homeowners I have already spent time with shared our concerns and almost certainly would have been willing and even enjoyed taking part in this project. Indeed with every homeowner I can remember there has been discussion of the themes present in your book… I would be amazed if the trend doesn’t continue!)

What I am proposing is a localised action which looks to have an impact on communities themselves. However my unique position means that in any year I would have the opportunity spark these discussions and projects in any number from six to twenty different communities, all across the world. To keep my efforts relevant to the cultures I will be a part of I have the homeowners themselves as potential partners. Past and future homeowners include journalists (including writers for The Guardian and freelance journalists), documentary film makers, BBC writers, artists, authors, voluntary aid workers, activists, and people involved in financial services. Not only do I cross paths with a great deal of expertise, but I would be raising awareness of these issues with people who themselves are in varied positions to raise further media awareness themselves.

Not only would your book be travelling around the world being read by many different people in many different sectors, but I would be actively looking in each community for the most effective and relevant ways to raise the issues. Please do consider my application- I hope you will see the magic of one book travelling the world sparking interest and discussion!”

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