The Flow-on Effect of Compassion
7 April 2014 at 10:35 am
After visiting a flood-stricken Pakistan, Rachel Cruz decided to establish a Not for Profit to help those most affected. Cruz is this week’s Changemaker.
Cruz, originally from Dorset in England, moved to Australia in 1991 and says she has devoted her life to “supporting and facilitating change on an international scale”.
In response to the extensive floods in Pakistan of 2010, Cruz started FLOW International (formerly SOS Pakistan – Feed the Children). She says after visiting some of the country’s most devastated regions, she “instantly understood the value of restoring dignity to the vulnerable, especially children”.
"I am driven by the deep poverty and absolute vulnerability of the people I have witnessed in Pakistan," she says.
"Every day the strength of the women and children I have encountered inspire me and strengthen my resolve to provide clean water, education and opportunity to as many disadvantaged people as possible."
As part of her role as Chairperson and Founder of FLOW International, Cruz travels to Pakistan several times a year to oversee the work being carried out by its Pakistan-based team.
Cruz is currently also studying Arabic and Integrated Water Management.
What are you currently working on in your organisation?
FLOW international is currently working on clean drinking water technologies – focussing on Tharparkar, Sindh and education with an emphasis on well – being and happiness for every under-privileged children in Pakistan
How long have you been working in the Not for Profit sector?
3 ½ years.
What was your first job in the Not for Profit sector?
Chairperson of FLOW International.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Definitely being witness to the instalment and operation of our water filtration plants – giving men, women and children access to clean drinking water for the first time in their lives and giving a holistic education to under-privileged children in Pakistan.
What has been the most challenging part of your work?
Cultural differences and working with masculine energy. I overcame it by meditating and being detached.
Once I accepted this powerful energy and it’s limitations – my life became easier and I could do much more.
In terms of your work sitting on a Not for Profit board, what would you say is the key to an effective NFP board?
Working with like-minded people – being on the same page – a supportive environment!
What do you like best about working in your current organisation?
We are always evolving!
Working on the ground in Pakistan and having the full support of the Board of FLOW International.
I consider my greatest achievement to be…
Being part of a brilliant team of like-minded, professional people and definitely changing the lives of so many people in Pakistan through education and clean drinking water!
I’m always being asked …
How can you work in Pakistan?
What are you reading/watching/listening to at the moment?
I’m studying the International Water Centre (UQ). It’s fascinating and I want to be part of the clean water sector and form partnerships for clean drinking water in Pakistan
Through your work, what is your ultimate dream?
Being the leader of clean drinking water in Pakistan.
My greatest challenge is …
Being cool and calm!
School taught me …
That I am not a follower!
What (or who) inspires you?
Where do you feel your passion for good came from?
I am not a righteous human being – life has just decided this is my path! I had no choice.
After the floods of 2010 in Pakistan and seeing all those people without the basic of necessities – well, my life changed forever and I could not go back to my life before.