Who We Are

Following fundraisers  and significant support from the UK, StandProud, by popular demand, has established a UK board of trustees. Our trustees are in place to facilitate UK support for projects assisting people with disabilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo). StandProud recently received UK Charity Status.

StandProud UK came into being on May 18th 2009 when its board of trustees signed the StandProud Trust Deed.

StandProud began its work in the UK by popular demand following successful fundraisers carried out by StandProud USA in England. StandProud UK is run by its own board of UK trustees who work closely with expert advisers, a majority of whom sit on both StandProud USA and StandProud UK advisory committees.

StandProud UK benefits greatly from the extensive experience of StandProud USA and ACDF who have worked jointly in DR Congo for nearly ten years.

Members of the StandProud UK board of trustees include prior employees of StandProud USA who have had more than three years combined experience working in DR Congo and assisting with the implementation of StandProud/ACDF projects.

The StandProud UK board of trustees presently consists of four members:

Auriel Sarah Eagleton (Chairwoman)
Pauline McAlpine (Accountant)
Jacqueline O'Brien (Treasurer)
Lindi Meaney (Fundraising Officer)

All our trustees work on a strictly voluntary basis and are committed to keeping UK expenses down to an absolute minimum, always less than 5%, channelling at least 95% of funds raised directly towards project implimentation in DR Congo. This means that at least £0.95 of every pound you give should be spent directly on improving the lives and mobility of disabled youth and children in DR Congo and not on marketing, fundraising or UK salaries.

StandProud UK presently has no paid employees and relies solely on the dedication, work and good will of its trustees, patrons, advisers and further volunteers.

StandProud UK is extremely grateful for the help and support of its patrons:

Well renowned photo journalist Marcus Bleasdale (www.marcusbleasdale.com) and Reuters photographer Finbarr O'Reilly

Finbarr and Marcus visited the StandProud rehabilitation centers in DR Congo independently and became immediately committed to the work we are doing to achieve better mobility and opportunities for children living with disabilities in DR Congo.

"...I spent two years covering Congo as a correspondent for Reuters before turning to photography, witnessing poverty, cruelty and bloodshed in this blighted nation at the heart of Africa.

Things didn't look much better on a recent trip back to cover the elections... But the polio kids still smile, despite being thinly sheltered from the hostility outside their compound's cracked concrete walls and rusted green gate.... On my last night in Kinshasa, StandProud throws a party with music and dancing. Using a digital projector, we give the kids a slideshow of photos I've taken during visits to the centre. They cheer as they see themselves on screen.

The laughter, dancing and joking go on late into the night.

For a while at least, it's easy to forget Congo's troubles..."

Finbarr O'Reilly on his visits to the StandProud centre in Kinshasa (formerly known as the International Polio Victims Response Committee, IPVRC). You can find the full article here: http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKNOA23228520070102?pageNumber=3&virtualBrandChannel=0&sp=true

Finbarr and Marcus have offered StandProud enormous support over the years. Finbarr obtained a $25,000 gift from Reuters to support the StandProud center in Kinshasa in 2009 and Marcus has submitted an application for the BGC London brokerage company charity, obtaining a further £15,000. The funds that Finbarr and Marcus are currently raising are being channeled through our partner StandProud USA but both patrons have existing contacts and opportunities for increased fundraising in the UK and have offered their complete help and support to the UK board of trustees to build and strengthen StandProud UK's presence and reach.

Standing members of the StandProud UK Advisory Committee:

Jay Nash
Nancy Bolan
Lisa Seymour
Sebastian Meaney
MaryLouise Eagleton

Existing StandProud UK Volunteers:

James Knight (Child Protection Awareness Officer)
Julia Eagleton (Fundraising Volunteer)

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