When I returned from my documentary expedition to Kashmir, I was invited to inspire the youth of Bradford University School of Business with my tales of travel and adventure, and of pursuing goals that are right for you.
When I returned from Japan I took an internship at a charity while I applied to the police force. I got through to the final round of testing, only to be told I there was an opportunity if I was brave enough to take it.
Through my work in marketing for the charity -developing case for support material, coordinating events and developing strategies with the fundraising manager- I had taken the initiative to start a YouTube channel, creating powerpoints of Windows MovieMaker videos of our cause and events and uploading them, so those people who supported us could say, ‘I was there’. It helped us give recognition to our donors, and to the people who went to prison for us to raise funds.
The patron of the charity approached me and told me that a documentary company in Pakistan had agreed to my taking an internship with them to produce a documentary on behalf of the charity. All I had to do was say yes.
Suffice it to say, I did not pass the third round of the police examinations. Instead, I spent a month in Islamabad during the lawyer’s marches, terrorist bombings, and Taliban encroachment to within 20 miles of the capital. I was then driven over roads still destroyed by earthquake, less than nine miles from where we now know Bin Laden’s compound to be situated.
I spent 36 hours in Azad Kashmir listening to the stories of the people whose lives had been devastated by the quake three years previous. It was our firm belief that though we could not take our donors to Kashmir to witness the truth first hand, we could at least bring back a portrait of Kashmir so they knew who they were helping, and why. The power of narrative for a cause cannot be underestimated.