Jane’alam Sheikh grew up in Kolkata, India. As a young boy, he saw people starving and suffering in the slums of that city.
The experiences of his youth gave him a heart to make a difference for people living in poverty.
He studied in the UK, graduating from Manchester University with a Masters in Business Administration. He then co-founded Pursuit International, an organization working to empower people restricted by physical and spiritual poverty to pursue a life of hope and purpose.
Jane’ and I spoke about his early life and what has happened since on my podcast, Bleeding Daylight.
You can hear our conversation wherever you listen to podcasts or click the play button on the player below.
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On Bleeding Daylight this week, the story that changed the lives of all those involved.
We hear about Az Hamilton’s escape from a very dangerous situation in a country overtaken by rioting. What Az describes is a shared experience. Az and I lived this dangerous escape together. So this is also my story.
The events we describe happened in April 2008 when Az and I were part of a media trip traveling to Haiti to see the work of Compassion. It was on this trip that both of us decided to do what we could to see more children released from poverty. Both of us ended up working for Compassion as a direct result of the events that unfolded.
Our time in Haiti was not the normal kind of Compassion trip. We faced very real danger at different times but obviously lived to tell the tale, and what a tale it is.
You can listen wherever you find podcasts by searching for Bleeding Daylight or just click play on the player below.
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It wasn’t a physical crash. I didn’t hit anything or fall off my bike. It was a different kind of crash.
Things were going great. I was building up the kilometres on my bicycle, feeling good, but then one day after a ride, I put my bike in its usual place in the garage and that’s where it stayed. I haven’t really been out on my bike for a long time.
All that’s about to change. I’m 15 months away from starting my seventh crossing of Australia by bicycle. I need to reacquaint myself with my bike and with long hours of training.
Ride for Compassion Coast to Coast 2021 will leave Perth on Saturday the 18th of September next year. Over 4,000 kilometres later, on Wednesday the 20th of October 2021, we’ll arrive in Newcastle. We’ll cycle an average of 150 kilometres a day, with some days up around 200 kilometres.
Why am I doing it all again?
While COVID-19 has had significant effects for all of us, I’ve been deeply saddened to hear the estimates of the impact on the poorest people in our world. I heard a friend say that the current pandemic will push back the cause of reducing extreme poverty in our world by 10 years. It’s been estimated that between 40 million and 60 million people will return to extreme poverty. Think about that … between 40 million and 60 million people who had escaped extreme poverty being pushed back into that darkness. I just can’t comprehend that kind of devastation.
I’m riding for those children who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in fairly desperate circumstances. I can’t not ride.
Will you help?
We’ve all faced difficulties in this time, but those in poverty don’t have a safe place to isolate. They don’t have any savings stashed away for the tough times. They barely had enough to survive before and now they have nothing.
You can make a very real difference. I’ll do the training. I’ll push my ageing body to do this one more time. Will you contribute to the cause?
I have set a personal target of $25,000. It’s a huge target and I have no idea how to get there, but I know how to ride my bike and I’m hoping and praying that you’ll help me raise funds for the most vulnerable in our world.
Whether you can afford $10 or $10,000, I’m pleading with you to consider donating today through my fundraising page. If you’re in Australia, your donation will be tax deductible. Wherever you are, your donation will save lives.
Please consider the difference you can make in these very difficult times.
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When he was just eight years of age his father was murdered in front of his mother. That moment forced Richmond, his mother, and his siblings out of their home and into one of the world’s largest slums. Life had changed in an instant.
Back in February, in what now seems to be a whole different world, I had the honour of spending some time with Richmond Wandera during his short visit to Perth. His life was changed by a tragic event. His life was changed again when he was sponsored by a fifteen-year-old girl through Compassion.
During the many years I worked in radio I had the opportunity to meet a lot of inspirational people. I don’t think any of them were more inspirational than Richmond. He is a powerful storyteller and he has a very powerful story to tell. He has suffered malaria more than ten times, experienced extreme poverty, scavenged for food and seen things a child should never have to see.
Life now is very different. Richmond is a pastor and the founder of the Pastors’ Discipleship Network in several African countries.
The amazing thing is that while Richmond always carried that potential if it were not for the decision made by a fifteen-year-old girl to sponsor him, his life would look very different today.
Richmond Wandera – Power over Poverty
I’m so thrilled that my interview with Richmond is the very first full-length episode of my podcast, Bleeding Daylight.
Please listen to Richmond’s story in his own words at the website or wherever you usually find podcasts.
There are hundreds of thousands of children around the world who need someone to step up and help release their potential. You can be the person who brings change and hope to the life of a child. Please sponsor a child today through Compassion.
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It’s been brewing in the background for quite a while, but the time has finally arrived.
I’m releasing a regular audio podcast named Bleeding Daylight and I’d really appreciate it if you could take the time to listen and help me get the word out.
I’ll give you a few suggestions of how you can help me later in this post.
Do you miss it?
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you’ll know that since the end of 2013 I’ve been working to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name through Compassion Australia. Before that, I was working in radio.
I racked up more than 25 years’ experience in radio overall and so a question I’m still asked reasonably often is if I miss working in radio. While I still love the medium, the main thing I miss is the opportunity to help uncover interesting stories through interviews.
I’ve had the privilege of interviewing hundreds of musicians, authors, politicians, comedians, actors, sporting identities and others. I’m always captivated by the stories behind the people. I love discovering what drives a person and gaining a window their everyday lives.
Why Bleeding Daylight?
Bleeding Daylight probably sounds like a strange name for a podcast so I guess an explanation is in order.
Canadian, Bruce Cockburn, released ‘Lovers in a Dangerous Time’ on his 1984 album ‘Stealing Fire’. (If you’ve never heard the song, you’re missing out.)
A couple of lines from the song have always captured me.
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight
Got to kick at the darkness ’til it bleeds daylight
That speaks to me of the efforts we all make to ensure the light continues to break through the ever-encroaching darkness. Sometimes we need to kick harder than at others.
That’s the essence of what I want to see develop through the Bleeding Daylight podcast.
The first full-length episode of Bleeding Daylight, featuring Richmond Wandera from Uganda, will be released on Monday, the 1st of June.
Richmond Wandera’s life was torn apart by violence and poverty. One act by a 15 year old girl began the healing that transformed his life and the lives of those around him. In this episode of Bleeding Daylight he tells his incredible story in his own words.
Richmond speaks honestly about the day he lost his father, his home and his childhood. He discusses the devastating effects of poverty and the part we can all play in seeing the end of extreme poverty.
Please listen at the website or wherever you usually find podcasts.