Ep 19: Fred Branson on Being Inspired, Self Belief and Learning From Indigenous Communities

March 31, 2015

Fred Branson is the Co-Founder of Amantani UK, an award winning charity which works to improve the lives of Peruvian children. Fred established Amantani in 2007, when he noticed big problems with the educational system in remote areas. Often children were forced to walk up to 8 hours a day to get to the closest school, once they got there, exhausted, the standardised curriculum seemed irrelevant to their indigenous lives and so he set up Amantani to combat these two problems with a focus on respect for their local customs and culture. Their work has received great media attention and Fred was recently invited to give a TED Talk all about the Art of Giving.


In This Episode:

  • What was the turning point for Fred, what made him change his entire life and dedicate his future to setting up a charity and helping others when he was just 18.
  • A description of the two amazing ladies that inspired him.
  • Rather than treating the symptoms of the problem, the advice he received about focusing his energy on the route causes. That was how he could have the most positive impact and help the most people.
  • What is his motivation behind everything he does, is it the same now as it has always been or has it developed and evolved over the years?
  • Who is Marleni and how has she changed all of the communities belief about what is truly possible if you put your mind to it?
  • How and why we can learn just as much from developing countries and rural communities as they can learn from us.
  • Why Fred believes it is more beneficial to focus on and highlight all of the positives, the potential and the resilience of these communities rather than pitying them, highlighting the problems, and all of the things wrong.
  • Helping people build self esteem, confidence and taking pride in their ancient customs and traditions.
  • The importance of accepting yourself and believing in who you are as a person.
  • 2 pieces of amazing ancestral wisdom:
  • 1) What the concept of ‘poverty’ and ‘being poor’, actually means to Quechua people.
  • 2) How the concept of ‘progress’ is viewed and interpreted by them.
  • A description of the Quechua communities close relationship with nature and their connection and deep respect to the land and environment.
  • The western world sees themselves as separate from the world and separate from nature. 
  • “We often see nature as a resource and as something that we can use for our own ends. However they see nature as something that you have to negotiate with and converse with, there is this reciprocal connection between the two and they see themselves very much within nature and inside of it”
  • What are the biggest learnings that Fred has got from the last 8 years.
  • What does a fulfilled life mean to Fred?
  • What is 1 thing our listeners can do today that will have a massive positive effect on their lives?
  • Which books or resources have changed/had a big impact on your life?


Links Mentioned:

Meet My Word. See the children’s films here


Books Mentioned:

The Spirit of Regeneration: Andean Culture Confronting Western Notions of Development by Frederique Apffel-Marglin

Growing Up in a Culture of Respect: Child Rearing in Highland Peru by Inge Bolin


Connect with Fred:

Amantani website

Amantani on Facebook


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