Meet Afiya, UK Events and Partnerships Coordinator

June 16, 2020 | GFC & Partner Updates

Global Fund for Children has passionate staff based across the world. Afiya Fenton, from the UK office, shares what it was like growing up in West Yorkshire and what drew her to the world of development.

Afiya, CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR CHILDHOOD AND WHERE YOU aRE FROM?

I grew up in West Yorkshire, England, but I spent a lot of time in London, as most of my family lived there. Yorkshire is super community-driven and friendly. I used to go to barn parties in the countryside in the summer and sit in the hot tub outside whilst it was snowing! I moved to London to go to university where I studied International Business with Business Law, and I have stayed here since. I love it because you can never really be bored. There is always something happening in London. It is a haven for learning new skills and broadening your network and cultural understanding, too.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY?

My favorite childhood memory was when I first got into drama and musical theatre when I was about 6 years old. I was a cloud in Aladdin. Being a cloud may not have been an exciting role to many, but I took my role so seriously. I just wanted to be on the stage singing! This is one of my favorite memories as a child because it was the start of me enjoying life on the stage. Doing that encouraged me to be confident in large crowds growing up. It gave me the assurance to do public speaking and networking, which I love to do now as an adult.

WHAT DREW YOU TO THIS LINE OF WORK, AND TO GFC?

Over the years, I have worked with children on different charity projects. Before moving to London, I worked with 5- and 6-year-old children who have dyslexia, autism, and/or ADHD. We would make reading fun and engaging whilst understanding each child’s way of learning that was most beneficial to them. In addition, I have hosted career workshops for high school students. These were at schools where students had limited resources for securing their first jobs after graduation.

Professionally, I knew I wanted to work for a team that focused on creating change for the greater good and to see the impact that the organization was making. When I came across the opportunity to work with GFC, I saw the scope and growth of the organization within the UK and I went straight for it. I am happy knowing that I work alongside people who really have a passion for doing good for others and supporting youth and children to have prosperous futures.

WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF YOUR JOB? WHAT WILL BE THE MOST SATISFYING?

Working in the nonprofit sector is a completely new world for me, so adapting to this when coming from a corporate background is definitely a challenge. Knowing that children’s wellbeing is the focus is definitely satisfying, though. It makes all the hard work and challenges worth it.

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE GFC’S WORK IS IMPORTANT?

GFC’s work is so important because we go out and work with organizations serving children who are vulnerable, ultimately taking risks that many other funders would not dare to do. This is all to support the creation of better lives for children, which is incredible to me.

 

#FUNFACTS ABOUT AFIYA

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY GROWING UP?

My favorite toys were my Barbie cars and my Britney Spears bus, which opened up like a house. I used to line them up in my room and pretend to have car park parties with all of my dolls. One of the cars had a CD player in the background, so I would play music from there – often too loud!

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?

I always wanted to be a hairdresser. I would always do my friends’ hair. Looking back, I’m surprised my friends trusted me to do it so young!

WHAT’S THE WEIRDEST THING YOU EVER ATE?

Frogs legs. Weird because they were frog, but they tasted like chicken wings.

DO YOU HAVE A PET PEEVE?

Wasting time! I hate anything that wastes my time. I like to be organized and well-planned whenever possible.

IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY SUPERPOWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

To see the future, so that I can make changes and avoid any bad paths. I don’t think I would want to be able to see everybody’s though. I’d feel so guilty if I couldn’t make everyone’s lives perfect!

 

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Global Fund for Children (GFC) UK Trust, created in 2006, is a UK registered charity (UK charity number 1119544). We work to generate vital income, create new fundraising opportunities, and raise awareness of the invaluable work of GFC’s grassroots grantees. Our aim is to extend the reach of GFC in the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond.

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