First 50

First 50

July 6, 2013 Old Blog Uncategorized 2

Last week saw the excitement of the First 50 event, which Suzanne blogged about (read it here). We decided that the fact we have taken 50 unique people to India was an occurrence that should be celebrated, and indeed those people celebrated as well. Their actions have seen many good things achieved in Chennai, and recruited new team members from the UK.

All of the first 50

All of the first 50

This group of individuals have all been changed by being a part of Chennai Challenge, but have also shaped Chennai Challenge into what it is today, and have been the reason why we have achieved everything we have so far in terms of help in Chennai. Chennai Challenge would not be what it is if these people had not been prepared to leave their comfort zones. It was good to be able to meet up with people from years gone by and to see the change in them over somewhere between one and six years. This is another aim of Chennai Challenge, to develop the people that are on our team. We could see in a real sense how individuals had grown, matured and been affected positively by being a part of Chennai Challenge. An extra thing for the leadership to celebrate as we look back on our history.

Celebrating the past is good, but that is not where the First 50 stops. Why should we talk about the First 50, if we do not plan to have a second 50? What is going to happen next? That is what the leadership have spent this year thinking about, how do we expand the positive work we have being doing, or even continue it, if we are all volunteers? How do we move forward if we are reliant on a very small group of people?

Our answer is to change the structure of our leadership slightly to help relieve pressure and to have a strategic plan for the next 5 years. As part of that plan we are now looking for people to get involved in a number of clearly defined ways. I will tell you a little about our search for Project leaders, Trustees and the ‘5 for 50’ challenge.

Project Leaders 

We are looking for people who are passionate about GOING to Chennai, either returning team members or new people,who are able to take a leadership role. People who can spare the time to travel, but can also commit to help run a single project. They would work alongside a Senior Project leader, who is one of the current leadership team.

To help people move into this role we are running our 2014 project specifically with potential project leaders in mind. As well as being a part of the team people will get to see ‘behind the curtain’ so to speak and given specific responsibilities to get an idea of what is expected. This means that you could be a project leader in 2015!

For more information read the Application Form 2014 Project Leader Job description Project Leader Welcome and email us for any more information.


We are also looking for people who are passionate about the work of Chennai Challenge who cannot commit to going on project for what ever reason. People who can be a steering voice who hold responsibility for the charity, but who are not involved in the day to day running. In fact you have to attend just three meetings a year. This is an excellent opportunity to help out by using your wisdom and discernment.

The ideal situation is that there is no crossover between the trustees and the people running the charity on a day to day basis. This is why Isaac and Cathy have stepped down from the board of Trustees and we are looking to replace them.

For more information read the Welcome Letter Being A Trustee Trustee Job description and email us for any more information. 

5 for 50

As well as human resources we do of course want to have a more steady source of income. So we have launched a fundraising campaign that we hope is accessible to all. Our overall aim is to have 5 donors for each of the First 50 people. Each of these 5 donors will give a different amount, all of which will be helpful to do good work in Chennai and support the low running costs of the charity.

The five donation amounts are:


50p a day

50p a week

50p a fortnight

50p a month

Could you help with just one of these amounts? If so please visit our secure online donation site here.

The future

So the future of Chennai Challenge is full of potential and exciting opportunities, can you be brave enough to leave your comfort zone  and be a part of it? I do hope so.


2 Responses

  1. ileneonwords says:

    Very good work that you are doing in Chennai! I know someone who will be leaving soon to live and teach in Chennai. Based on your experience, is there anything he should purchase beforehand that is not readily available in Chennai? Thanks so much!

  2. Isaac Jones says:

    Hi – great to hear from you! When we originally went out to Chennai in 2001/2 there were many things that we missed or couldn’t get hold of whilst there, but nowadays it is really quite easy to get hold of most things. It’s just a case of knowing where to go! There are a couple of very large shopping complexes – Spencer Plaza being our favourite as it has a little bit more of an Indian flavour. Express Avenue is like a Western Mall and even has a Body Shop – all quite pricey though considering the cost of living elsewhere in the city!

    If you want to email us then please do drop me a line at and we can maybe chat more about what to expect! We’re always keen to talk about Chennai!

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