“Before joining my Raleigh expedition, I was working at Raleigh Head Office as the HR Coordinator. I learnt about the various projects that Raleigh worked on around the world and became fascinated with the work in Tanzania. I studied business in university and volunteered previously with Junior Achievement, a charity that teaches business skills to young leaders of today. From that experience, I believe that a sustainable way of eradicating poverty is to educate people and provide them with transferable skills in entrepreneurship and finance.
I share the same values as Raleigh International and want to help drive young people to create positive change in the world. After working at Raleigh Head office, I realised I want to gain experience in the field. Raleigh International offers the opportunity to professionals to be a Volunteer Manager in field base, the permanent office in the country of operation. This opportunity is great for my career development and to learn about working in the field and the operational side of the projects.
Raleigh International focuses on sustainable development through youth action on water and sanitation, natural resources management, community resilience, and environmental conservation. These are all areas I am passionate about. Being part of the expedition programme, I will also have the opportunity to continue to promote active citizenship among young people.
I worked at fieldbase in the Logistics Team. My responsibility was to ensure our volunteers have everything they need when volunteering on the projects, from food to communications equipment. If certain items are missing or faulty, it can delay project work. I also think by improving the process I was able to reduce waste, decrease inefficiency in distributing the supplies out to project, and meet the needs of the work in the community.
My best moments on expedition were when I was able to visit the project sites and spend time with the volunteers. When I hear about their experience, I am delighted to learn how logistics affect their work and how I can improve on my side to better the project as well as their experiences. The chance to see what is happening on projects makes the work I do meaningful. Most of all, the best part is being able to see how the community and volunteers develop and grow from the beginning to the end of expedition.
The main thing I have taken away from my experience is learning to adapt to the different working style between Tanzanian and UK cultures, such as the difference in understanding of time, appointments, and organisation. It can be frustrating to deal with especially if you are waiting for someone to deliver important goods before a timely deadline. I have learnt to be extremely patient, to strategise with multiple back-up plans, and to have a positive outlook when things do not go as planned.
I originally planned to travel after Raleigh or to return home and find a Human Resources post in the charity sector. My plan changed since I have been on expedition and I have decided to stay on with Raleigh Tanzania for the spring 2016 ICS programme. The ICS programme is expanding with a new office and additional staff. It is a great opportunity for me to take on the challenge to help set-up the new office and learn more about the ICS programme. I also had an amazing time working with the ICS team and wanted to learn more about the operational side of the ICS projects.
Young people have the potential to make positive contribution to society and their communities. Raleigh International provides young people the opportunity to be the change-maker, to gain knowledge about global issues and to share experience with other young people from different cultures to make a difference in their society. Without young people to be inspired to make the necessary changes to create a positive world, we cannot expect the future generation to tackle climate change, gender inequality, poverty and hunger, lack of education, and many other global issues.
My Raleigh experience has been a journey of discovery on how I can gain the drive and courage to help make a positive impact on the world and empower others to do the same with integrity and toilet rolls!”