Talking Social Enterprise in Sri Lanka with Josie George, AMMA

AMMA Sri Lanka's Mother Makers at Workshop

This week I’m happy to be introducing you to my cousin Josie. Josie runs AMMA, a social enterprise that trains and employs mothers in Sri Lanka’s central highlands. AMMA uses colour from food waste and local plants to create beautiful, natural textiles. Read our interview below.

Molly: What led you to start AMMA?

Josie: A few different reasons. Something needed to be done about the high unemployment levels amongst mothers in the tea picking communities here. Around the same time, Child Action Lanka, the local charity we work with, was looking to start income generating initiatives to become more financially sustainable.

I wanted to build an enterprise that demonstrates a different, fairer, more wholesome way of doing business in the fashion / textile industry. This gives me the opportunity to promote natural, botanical dyes, which I believe are a much safer alternative to synthetic dyes for both our planet and our wellbeing.

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24 More Things I’ve Learned by 24

Pastel pink and floral notebooks

Last September I shared 23 Things I’ve Learned by 23. Now approaching my 24th birthday, I’ve put together another list. I’m all for lifelong learning.

Here we go:

1. You can’t and don’t need to do everything. Prioritise your commitments.

2. Qualities can be more important than qualifications.

3. Social contact can help you live longer. Make sure to ‘build your village’.

4. What a stranger at a train station thinks of you really doesn’t matter.

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September Reflections

View from Cissbury Ring, West Sussex

If Richard Curtis adapted my experience of this month into a romantic comedy, it could be called One Wedding and a Funeral. It would feature plenty of love, laughter and tears, without puffy dresses or patterned waistcoats.

September has brought another milestone – going back to school. I recently started the second year of my MA. This looks set to be the last autumn I spend balancing professional work and academic work (and blogging and…). I’m keen to get stuck in and appreciate the experience. Please remind me of that when I’m in the library two hours from home and it’s dark outside.

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August Reflections

Purple Flowers

“Things are both fine and not. Beginnings and endings are happening side by side. Life is messy and important and joyous and heartbreaking.”

These words from Meg Fee sum up August for me. This month, grey days stretched into sunny evenings with people I love. I worked, rested, then became ill and played less than I would have liked to. I visited the Peak District with work friends, appreciating slow, shared meals and a break from screens.

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My Favourite Podcasts: Part Three

iPhone and Earphones

This is my third podcast recommendations post (click to read part one and part two). I keep finding new series to listen to when I’m travelling, washing dishes, in the bath or wherever else. If you think of any others I might like, please let me know in a comment or tweet!

18. The Debrief Podcast

With humour and good advice, Stevie and Tessa tackle topics faced by many people in their 20s. If you’re in Edinburgh this month, I’ve heard Tessa’s show is great too.

Recommended episode: How To Do Things That Scare You.

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On Confrontation

London Skyline, including Waterloo Bridge

Earlier this week I travelled home from London after a good working day. My train wasn’t at its usual platform, so I walked to the other side of the station. After queueing for a while, the person in front of me couldn’t get their ticket to go through the barrier. I smiled, let them pass and tried my ticket. It wouldn’t work either. Attempting to walk to the open barrier and ticket attendant, I turned to the woman behind me, gave an (admittedly quiet) apology and moved across.

As I passed, she said loudly, “Some people have no class. Oh look, my ticket is working fine”.

I don’t retaliate in such circumstances. In the moment I thought the best thing to do was keep my head down. The woman continued: “She should have been taught some manners”.

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July Reflections

Molly in Florence, with Tuscan hills and architecture behind.

Hello again!

July seems to have passed quickly, thanks to travelling, working and packing to move out next month. I’ve been chipping away at larger projects and stepping away from my laptop more often during evenings and weekends. I’m feeling focused and content.

The summer break from MA classes and essays has given me more time for personal reading. I’m enjoying Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & In Life, One Conversation at a Time. If you’re put off by the seemingly corporate title, I recommend giving it a chance. Susan Scott’s book contains reflective exercises for defining what your version of success looks like. It offers useful tools for holding necessary, thoughtful conversations with partners, managers and other key people.

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Talking Wellness and Work with Natasha Lipman, Chronic Illness Blogger and Podcast Host

Natasha Lipman, Chronic Illness Blogger and Podcast Host.

I’m thrilled to be publishing this interview with Natasha Lipman, blogger, podcast host and freelance writer / website designer / social media manager. Natasha suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Histamine Intolerance and ME. She regularly shares insights into life and work with chronic illnesses.

Molly: I started following your blog in 2014/15, when it was still called Nutritiously Natasha. What first led you to writing about your experiences online?

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