Directors

  • Jackie Horne

    I only made my first trip to Sri Lanka after living in Asia for almost 10 years. 

    Despite thinking I'd seen enough temples to last a lifetime, I was incredibly surprised when I instantly fell in love with the country and its people.

    That feeling has only grown more strongly over the seven years I have visited the country. 

    The Sri Lankan team have become personal friends and it is incredibly rewarding interacting with children who are spirited, but respectual of others and rarely naughty.

    I am also very conscious of how lucky I am to be in a position where I can enable other children to benefit from the kinds of opportunities I myself enjoyed as a child.

    After leaving Hong Kong to return to Britain in 2008, I set up the UK arm of SRI so the charity can continue to raise funds in a tax efficient manner.

    Jackie@schoolsreliefinitiative.com

     

  • Jonathan Back

    Jonathan has been a lawyer and then a banker for most of his professional life, but now runs a mining company with operations in Australia. 

    Jonathan has been living in Hong Kong since 1996 where he met the other SRI Directors.

    He has had a long connection with Sri Lanka beginning in 1985 when he gained pre-university work experience on the Victoria Dam project near Kandy. 

    This attachment was rekindled in 2003 and has grown ever stronger since his involvement with SRI in recent years.

    Jonathan has been particularly focused on the scheme for sponsoring deserving students to help with their expenses during school and university.

    He has been very excited to see the development of the Tissamaharama area over the last few years and hopes this will present many more opportunities for local people.

  • Mark Bucknall

    Mark was a banker for the better part of 25 years - working for HSBC until 2006 in London, Hong Kong and New York. 

    The Asian Tsunami of 2004 prompted him into action and he decided to do something although he was not actually sure what that meant!

    An initial round of fund raising from friends and colleagues raised significant funds and further funds were raised in conjunction with the publishing company, FinanceAsia.

    Mark and the other Directors agreed with his philiosophy that they should give their time for free and cover their own costs when travelling to Sri Lanka. 

    That way as close to 100 percent of donations as possible would go directly to those in need.

    Mark is a British citizen living in England/France and is a dragon investor.

    Mark@schoolsreliefinitiative.com

     

     


  • Rod Sykes

    Rod was a friendly competitor of Mark Bucknall for many years in the Asian debt capital markets. 

    After the Asian Tsunami, he was contacted by Mark with a view to founding a charity focused on helping victims of the Tsunami.

    Originally the charity was to have a pan Asian remit. 

    However, it quickly became apparent that there was a massive need for assistance in Sri Lanka, following which it was agreed to focus SRI's activities on the country.

    Rod was involved in the initial fundraising round for SRI. 

    He has previously been involved with other charitable organisations and is currency a member of the Executive Committee of the Hong Kong SPCA.

    Rod lives in Hong Kong and has dual British and Australian citizenship.

     


  • Stephen Metcalfe

    Stephen is an ex investment banker with more than 20 years experience who has also been involved in property development in Indonesia and the UK.

    The business Stephen was involved with in Bali became very involved in the local community and through it he helped build a school for one community as well as provide books and other materials for pupils. 

    He also sponsored an old people's home, providing shelter for those lacking family support in the local community. 

    Inspired by this work, Stephen has become involved in SRI to help promote its work and source sustainable funding for the future.

  • Steve Irvine

    Shortly after the 2004 Asian Tsunami struck, Steve was contacted by Mark Bucknall with the idea of setting up a charity, focusing on education and electing to work in the Hambantota area of Sri Lanka. 

    Steve was then the Editor of an Asian financial magazine in Hong Kong, which held a major charity fundraising dinner each January.

    He contacted a number of senior figures at eight international banks in Hong Kong and on the evening of the dinner, the Schools Relief Initiative was able to raise its inaugural funds, courtesy of their generosity. 

    Steve has been a Director since the charity's inception and set up SRI's initial fundraising structure, a tax-exempt charitable company in Hong Kong.

    In keeping with its philosophy that Directors ensure donor dollars go to financing projects instead of being diverted into less productive administrative costs, the Directors have undertaken to pay for the overheads of running the Hong Kong charitable company since its creation.

    Steven@schoolsreliefinitiative.com