Remembering not ruminating about the past

Mary Storrie, CEO and Founder of charity The Rosie May Foundation shares how the murder of her 10-year-old daughter led to a conscious decision to remember her memory not be ruined by the event.

Mary explains how, following her daughter’s murder, she took her family away for Christmas in 2004 to Sri Lanka only to be hit by the Boxing Day Tsunami.  Yet the survival of small palm tree, planted the day before on Christmas day in memory of Rosie May, became a sign of hope and led to the creation of a charity to help girls who had been orphaned as a result of the devastation.

She reveals how creating a registered charity with no experience was such a challenge that she went back to University in her 50s to study Global Studies, global citizenship identities and human rights. This became a new rite of passage and to her ‘coming out’ as a businesswoman determined to leave a legacy beyond her own lifetime.

Other topics include:

  • Pivoting from being a purely international charity as Covid forced the loss of 75% of the charity’s income overnight.  Now serving the local community with a bright pink Tuk Tuk the charity is providing food, support, and connection.
  • How in Sri Lanka they have trained the first female Tuk Tuk drivers, breaking the gender barrier of it being a male-only occupation.  In doing so they have enabled women to have a good income, high self-esteem and to support their families.   Plus provide safe transport for lone female passengers.