Thursday, October 4, 2012

my 9 to 5

I've been working for almost two months now, but have somehow failed to share a single experience from my placement here on the blog. Pole sana. I'm working for quite a large international health organisation* that most of you probably haven't heard of, but is well-known and well-respected throughout Africa.

As my colleagues and I still figure out exactly what I can and should contribute to, my weeks have been alternating between rather quiet days reading background documents until I have nothing left to read and must turn to trashy news sites online ( I'm looking at you!), through to busy, busy days of deadlines, writing and field trips. Of course, when it's busy, I'm wishing for one of those quiet days, and when there's not much to do, I'm itching to get stuck into something challenging!

But thus far, I'm really loving the work part of life in Kenya. I am helping my team document the successes, innovations and tools they've developed in various projects, so they can apply lessons learnt or models used to future projects and can encourage other agencies to make use of them as well.

For me, that involves a lot of background reading on Kenyan health policy, strategic plans and the target community/culture, developing question guides and interviewing project staff, community leaders and beneficiaries, drafting a document that captures everything I've learnt in an easy-to-read, concise format and working with various people to redraft, rewrite and polish it up into something worth sharing.

I'm getting exposure to a number of different projects and different regions, from maternal and child health services, to addressing female genital mutilation (FGM), to implementing systems to collect important health data at the community level, to projects tackling the huge shortage of health workers in the country. In addition to documentation, I'm also working on some advocacy projects and will hopefully be contributing to business development in the coming months as well.

There's so much to learn and I'm finding it all fascinating. I often get that 'Yes, this is right where I want to be' kind of feeling, which is a such good feeling to get when you hold two very broad degrees, have a wide range of interests and are still not exactly sure what you want to be when you grow up!

*I'm not naming the organisation I work with or the volunteer program I'm supported by to save myself the hassle of submitting everything through their social media policy person, but if you'd like to know more, feel free to contact me via facebook / email / twitter.

No comments:

Post a Comment