One of the reasons why Rock Your Life does what it does is to assist people to reach more of their full potential than they would have and to make the world a better place.
If we all just did a little more we would help keep the world safe, clean and those less fortunate better resourced and able to cope.
Rock Your Life have sponsored the Happy Family Orphanage in Siem Reap since 2008, plus we have trained teachers in India, planted trees in Asia and promoted many different causes. Now we want to step it up a notch.
We are now going to encourage and track our Rock Your Life Circle of Excellence members and the impact that they have. We know that many of them do so much and we want to recognise that. So this is the start of interviewing them to hearing their stories to help spread their message and the great work that they do to the world.
All entrepreneurs create a legacy yet for many it is a negative legacy.
Rock Your Life are stepping up and assisting people to leave an incredible legacy.
Our sustainability showcasing journey starts with Shazar Robinson.
Shazar is a spiritual activist, health facilitator, a writer and transformational educator. And passionate in her quest to be of service to the earth.
She is also part of the reason why many people in many villages in India have water, can stay on their farms and have crops that grow to feed their families.
So here follows a bit of her story.
How did you get involved with doing what you do?
I was on a cruise with Rock Your Life, with Mike and Dave, and was looking for a change of direction, it was time to shift. I was waiting for someone to come to me and say: ‘Why don’t you come and help us? Join our team – our Cause needs you…’ I was waiting for an invitation.
On this cruise I got thrown deeply in connection with the Indian people who was on the tour. I sat at their table and there was a lot of synchronicity between us and I suddenly realised that it had nothing to do with someone inviting me to help them, it was up to me to step up and say: ‘I want to do that.’
One of the Indian ladies had photographs of the kids that she was working at their shelter with, that she was fund-raising for and I realised that’s where I want to go. I spoke to Maya Shahani who was also on the tour and she invited meet come to India. So I went to India and were involved in that children shelter organization for about 6 years.
What are you doing at the moment?
During this time, I started asking why there were so many kids on the street in India, looking for what the underlying problem was. We were working with kids who have been rescued from the railway platforms, rubbish dumps and street corners –aged 3 to 15. The problem came from the rural farming areas, where there was not enough water, so the farmers came to look for work in the cities. I started investigating water and from that I am now involved working with Sikandar Meeranayak, doing bore well recharging and rainwater harvesting for individual farmers.
What is your mission with what you do?
Working on sustainability, particularly related to water.
Something else also led me to what I am doing now. I also went on a Soul Journey to Peru with Mike and Dave. I thought I went on the journey for myself. At the very last ceremony that we did at a ancient temple, Dave did a very powerful circle meditation with us, I found myself lying on the ground on my face, with the sense that I hadn’t come for myself, I had come for Mother Earth. From that time on I understood that I am in service to Mother Earth, nothing else, that’s my purpose.
Tell me about a time when you were challenged to stay committed to a project.
The shelter and my work there was a challenge from the beginning. I just hung in there and at a certain point understood that I had to move on.
The challenge was between me and the man who ran the shelter, who is a creator extraordinaire, who started one project after the other, so passionate about what he is doing that he loses his team and I could not handle the dissipation of energy forward from project to project without any completion. Incredibly painful experience though, because I was in love with one hundred and thirty kids! There are always challenges though, from a language and cultural perspective and people do not always communicate transparently. It’s about different ways of being.
What is your greatest success story?
The NGO that I’m working with now, The Sankalpa Rural Development Society entered a challenge by Water.org, Matt Damon’s charity organization, where they had $20.000.00 up for grabs. It was all about communicating and connecting and as Sikandar Meeranayak, who I am working with, does not speak English very well, I offered to submit all the information, made a video and connected with many people in the process.
We didn’t win it, but in the process of connecting, I make contact with a guy in the States who has a NGO called Save the Indian Farmers. He is very passionate about and works in the Maharashtra area where they have huge amounts of suicide due to the societal repercussions of water shortage. This is an area close to my heart and I have personally previously fund-raised and built a check dam there.
By the way, this dam was funded largely via crowdfunding by Rock Your Business Malaysia with Mike and Dave donating and a lot of people in Malaysia also donated to the project.
The check dam that Shazar and her team built
The Team, and the check dam celebration
So the man in the States got very interested in the work we are doing here and now we have a collaboration with him where he has funded us for ten bore well recharges. And when we have done the ten and he is happy with our work, he is funding us for 500! He is finding the individual farmers and doing the funding. So I feel delighted about the effort that I have put in to the challenge with Water.org, as the result was all of this funding. It is not just my work, if it was not for all the work that Sikandar Meeranayak has done and all the pre-work and the workers, there would not have been anything to present this man, but having presented it to him, we now have all this funding. Sikandar themselves also got funding for 225 bore well recharges more, so this year we have to do a total of 700 bore well recharges in the next dry season. One bore well takes about 3- 4 days, it’s all about the team and training them. Now it is time for logistics!
Bore well recharging
What is your best advice to others about raising funds for sustainability projects?
Tell good stories, personal stories, that’s what people want to hear. They want to hear about people’s individual lives. Of course accountability too, but also fast response; don’t make people wait for 3 days before you get back to them. BE there and be absolutely transparent. And follow up. If someone gives you money and they don’t hear from you for three months, that’s not good. So in summary: story telling, transparency and relationship building, these are the most important aspects of fund raising.
What would you like to inspire people to do when they read about your work here?
I would like to inspire others to really seek the biggest WHY they can – beyond their own desire for creating wealth or fame or power. Because once you reach outside of your self to a why which is giving back – life simply changes and becomes a journey that is more fulfilling than ever imagined – not that it is easy – but when you uncover this path everything else becomes less important. When we are on track and embedded firmly into our WHY everything that is needed for the journey is available.
Do you want to go on an Eco-Sustainability Journey that’s completely off the beaten track? Do you want to learn about water harvesting and meet someone like India’s Waterman Rajendra Singh who has regenerated 7 rivers in one area?
Come get an experience like you would not get elsewhere – Shazar puts the money made from the trip straight back into water harvesting in India.
Read more about Shazar’s event next year, here:
Eco-Sustainability Journeys – Solutions That Work on The Adventure of a Lifetime
To get in contact with Shazar, to learn more or to contribute towards her work:
Websites to see more:
Website Development Service:
One of the ways that Shazar make some extra cash to support this work she does is by creating websites and Facebook business pages for people.
All of of her websites and the srdsindia.org and the shikshangram.com sites have been made by her, including most of the content and the photography and sometimes video content and editing also.
Interviewed by Yolanda Brand.