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2020 Project Cycle Management & Research Course

PROJECT CYCLE MANAGEMENT & RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES COURSE

Duration: 1 Month

Dates: Saturday 22nd February, Sunday 23rd February and Saturday 21st March 2020 (and online between those dates) 

Location: Viatores Christi, 8 New Cabra Road, Dublin 7 and online

Who is this for?
Existing or prospective MDOs, volunteers, development workers and missionaries who wish to gain greater knowledge of the principles of Project Cycle Management and Results Focused Planning as well as field based research methodologies.
Course Dates
This a one-month course which runs from Saturday 22nd February, Sunday 23rd February and Saturday 21st March 2020 (and online between those dates) 
Methodology
  • An adult learning approach will be used which will be a mixture of didactic instruction, group work, case study, and shared experience.
  • This is a part facilitated and blended, web-enhanced course using expert facilitators and an online Moodle platform to provide learners with a integrated system to create personalised learning environments with a focus on interaction and collaborative discussion.
 Course Schedule Details
Facilitated Sessions
Project Cycle Management (Full Weekend Workshop)
VC HQ, Dublin 7 – 10am-5pm on Saturday 22nd February 2020  and 10am – 1pm Sunday 23rd February 2020.
Research Methodologies (3 Hour Session)
VC HQ, Dublin 7 – 10am – 1pm Saturday 21st March 2020
Online, web enhanced modules
Delivered using Moodle platform 
All modules are guided, monitored in an integrated system
PROJECT CYCLE MANAGEMENT, RESULTS FOCUSED PLANNING AND M&E MODULE 
Module Objectives:
To facilitate participants to
  • understand the principles and stages of Project Cycle Managementgain more knowledge of the principles and stages of Results Focused Planning
  • understand what Monitoring and Evaluation is all about, and how to conduct project monitoring and project evaluations
  • gain an increased confidence in relation to planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating a project or programme
Outline Content
  • The Project Cycle
    • Organisational Strategic Direction and Wider Policy Context
    • Problem Identification and Planning
    • Proposal Development and Financing
    • Implementation
    • Monitoring
    • Evaluation
  • Results Focused Planning
    • Activities Focused Approach vs. Results Focused Approach
    • Identification of the Overall Problem
    • Context and Organisational Analysis
    • Participation and Stakeholder Analysis
    • Problem Identification and Analysis, Needs Assessments
    • Objective Setting and Analysis
    • The Intervention Logic
    • Risks Analysis
    • Indicators and Means of Verification
  • Monitoring & Evaluation
    • Definitions, Types & Purpose of Monitoring
    • Monitoring vs Evaluation Purpose & Focus of Evaluation
    • OECD-DAC Evaluation Criteria
    • Monitoring and Evaluation in Practice
Learning Outcomes
  • By the end of the module, participants will be able to:
  • Use a results focused approach to planning interventions 
  • Use participatory techniques with local communities
  • Work with local communities to identify needs within the community
  • Plan with local communities and stakeholders in a collaborative manner
  • Plan sustainable, viable projects that respond to needs identified by local communities
  • Monitor the implementation and outcomes of projects
  • Organise an evaluation of the merits of the project 
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY MODULE
Module Objectives
To facilitate participants to
  •  understand the principles of research methodologies
  • be able to use various types of research methods
  • to understand participatory approaches to research
  • to understand some of the difficulties in carrying out research in developing countries
Methodology:
  • This module will be taught mostly online with a variety of methods, including core reading documents, quizzes, forum questions and videos followed by a 3 hour facilitated session in VC HQ. 
  • The session will allow for a practical application of the theory learnt during the online course.
Outline Content:
  • Principles of research methodologies:
  • Overarching research paradigms, ethics and methods; the research process
  • Designing, conducting and reporting on a variety of research methods for project assessment
  • Principles and methods of participatory research
  • Examples of situations of the difficulties and challenges of practical research in developing country contexts
Learning Outcomes:
Participants will be able to:
  • Think critically about different approaches to research
  • Have a basic knowledge of how to design, conduct and report on a variety of research methods
  • Have a basic knowledge of different approaches to participatory research
  • Have an introduction to the difficulties and challenges of conducting research in developing countries
How to join
Please email Colette@viatoreschristi.com or call 01-8689986
Course fee
€100 (lunch/refreshments costs included) 
Places are strictly limited
 

Vacancy at VC – Projects Officer

 Job Title: Projects Officer/Mission Development Officer
 Reporting to:  VC Programme Manager
 Location:  Viatores Christi HQ Dublin with some international travel
 Contract Type  1 year fixed term contract
 Start Date:  February 2019

 

 About VC
 Viatores Christi (VC) is a Dublin-based development organisation working within faith-based international development. VC works with over 30 partners across a range of sectors and countries. VC addresses needs through development and humanitarian assistance interventions and recruits, trains and places skilled personnel. In 2018, over 158,000 individuals directly benefited from the work of VC across partners in the areas of health, education, human rights, income generation and livelihoods.  VC is primarily funded through Irish Aid through its intermediary organisation Misean Cara and has recently become a lead partner in an EU Volunteering Aid Initiative (EUAVI) project.

 

 Summary
  • The Projects Officer/Mission Development Officer oversees the management of all Misean Cara funded projects and is responsible for liaison ensuring compliance with all funding requirements. The projects officer/MDO supports and supervises the Projects Support Volunteer in Kampala.

  

 Duties
  • Overseeing   the development, assessment and submission of project grant proposals together with the mission partner and VC’s small team
  • Planning and scheduling activities to assist VC with day-to-day management of work/focusing of resources in line with deadlines
  • Working within funder(s) maximum funding ceiling, develop new and renew existing project proposals
  • Administration of project contracts and other project documentation using VC’s Salesforce system and Office 365
  • Overseeing the production of both mid and final reports for the projects ensuring ongoing compliance is achieved and results are catalogued to measure VC’s impact in the field
  • Providing technical support for VC’s development volunteers in field
  • Together with the small team overseeing the assessment of new partners and projects
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of in-field projects

 

 Person Specification
 Essential Skills

  • Strong attention to detail and logical approach
  • Grant writing/funding proposals/project cycle management experience/logframes
  • Experience of reviewing and writing project reports
  • Excellent English writing skills
  • Ability to work on own initiative, while also being part of team
  • Ability to work a number of weekends in the year offset by time in lieu
  • Supportive approach and willingness to engage with VC development workers, partners, and other stakeholders
  • Overseas International experience in a development context

Desirable Skills

  • Salesforce or other CRM
  • An EU language
  • Facilitation/training skills

 Essential Competencies

  • Ability to work on own initiative, while also being part of team
  • Excellent management skills including the ability to motivate, lead, delegate, problem solve and effectively manage one volunteer development worker.
  • Excellent communication skills (both written and verbal) and excellent organisational and interpersonal skills are essential with an ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
  • Outgoing and enthusiastic with an ability to interact with different groups of people

 

Reporting / Relationships Structures
The successful candidate will be based at VC’s head office in Dublin and will report into VC’s Programme manager. He or she will also have direct responsibility for the Projects Support Officer (Volunteer) based in Kampala.

 

Salary
Salary for this position will be €28-33,000 pro-rata depending on experience

 

 How to apply
 Covering letter as to why you would like to be considered for the job along with an up to date CV to which highlights your relevant experience in relation to this role to apply@viatoreschristi.com  – Closing date Friday 17th January 2020

Digital Marketing and Communications Manager – EU AVI Project

 Job Title:  Digital Marketing and Communications Manager
 Reporting to: VC EUAVI Project Co-ordinator
 Location: Viatores Christi HQ Dublin with some travel
Contract Type 1 year fixed term contract
 Start Date: February 2019

 

 About VC
Viatores Christi (VC) is a Dublin-based development organisation working within faith-based international development. VC works with over 30 partners across a range of sectors and countries. VC addresses needs through development and humanitarian assistance interventions and recruits, trains and places skilled personnel. In 2018, over 158,000 individuals directly benefited from the work of VC across partners in the areas of health, education, human rights, income generation and livelihoods.  VC is a lead partner in an EU Volunteering Aid Initiative (EUAVI) and the organisation is also funded by Irish Aid through its intermediary organisation Misean Cara.

 

 Summary
The Digital Marketing and Communications Manager is responsible for all PR and communications activities for Viatores Christi and specifically the promotion and dissemination of the successes of its EUAVI-funded consortium project “EU Aid Volunteers – Volunteering for Humanity”. This is a pan European initiative to build organisational capacity of the VC-led consortium, consisting of volunteer agencies in Slovakia, Lithuania and France.

 

 

 Duties
The role will be two fold and include:  

EUAVI project specific duties

  • Design and implement a Dissemination Strategy and Plan based on EU project commitments and budget; Implement as per the set milestones, targets and schedule.
  • Set up and maintain an e-learning system (Webinars)
  • Set up and maintain a Consortium project communication tool/software (such as, for example, Slack, Zoom, etc.)
  • Develop a network platform of shared communications and open tools
  • Participate in Consortium meetings to further define the dissemination needs and goals and obtain recommendations of key informants in which to build an audience and partnership database
  • Lead the planning of external and internal PR events
  • Work with the project communications officers of the Consortium to guide them on the inputs, targets and messages
  • Draft content for mass media and Consortium members’ websites and PR activities
  • Ensure a high presence of the Consortium project across the internet
  • Identify suitable local and international peer partners to join the network platform
  • Oversee the infield communications resource on content, articles, video testimonies and stories of change.

 

VC communications activities

  • Maintain, review and update VC’s website
  • Ensure VC’s social media presence is updated and relevant
  • Review and where budget allows coordinate VC’s internal and external branding including training and promotional materials

 

Additional areas

  • Flexibility to assist in other areas may be required at certain times
  • Attendance at training events, conferences and other functions as necessary
  • Compliance with current policies and procedures
  • Attendance at fundraising or networking events as required

 

 

 

 

 Person Specification
Essential Skills

  • Marketing, PR/Communications degree or other equivalent qualification or experience.
  • Experience in devising, implementing, monitoring and evaluating successful PR/Marketing Campaigns.
  • Fluent English (verbal and written)
  • Strong networking and influencing skills
  • High degree of IT, Social Media and data literacy skills (social media platforms, Google analytics, Google Ads, SEO)
  • Experience of establishing and maintaining online communication platforms for sharing tools and information, broadcasting webinars.
  • Excellent proofing skills

 

Desirable Skills

  • Experienced with photo and video-editing software
  • Experience in web design (particularly WordPress) and content production
  • EU projects and EU marketing requirements
  • Overseas International experience in a development context
  • French or another EU language

 

Essential Competencies

  • A creative and strategic thinker with at least 3 years’ experience in a Digital Marketing/PR/Communications role.
  • Ability to work on own initiative, while also being part of team
  • Excellent management skills including the ability to motivate, lead, delegate, problem solve and effectively manage colleagues.
  • An ability to confidently represent VC and effectively convey its key messages.
  • Excellent communication skills (both written and verbal) and excellent organisational and interpersonal skills are essential with an ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
  • Outgoing with an ability to interact with different groups of people

 

 

Reporting / Relationships Structures 
The successful candidate will be based at VC’s head office in Dublin and on the EU project will report to the EU Project Coordinator (UK based). He or she will also work closely and support other consortium members based in France, Lithuania and Slovakia; and with the associated consultants, who will provide training to the consortium members. He or she will also work closely with an in-field communications officer based in Uganda for content dissemination and promotion. 

In terms of the day to day he or she will work directly with the VC senior manager responsible for VC’s overall communication strategy to ensure that output is in line with agreed strategy and with VC’s programme manager to ensure all aspects are delivered.

 

 

 

Salary 
Salary for this position will be €36,000 per annum for the duration of this contract.

 

 How to apply
Covering letter as to why you would like to be considered for the job along with an up to date CV to which highlights your relevant experience in relation to this role to apply@viatoreschristi.com  – Closing date Friday 3rd January 2020 

EU Funding Opportunities Information Seminar & Networking Event

EU Funding Opportunities Information Seminar & Networking Event

Focus on European Solidarity Corps (ECS) new strand: European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps

Who should attend?

All private-sector companies, non-profit organisations, public bodies and local authorities/municipalities who wish to learn more about EU funding opportunities

Date Tuesday 12th November 6.00pm-9.00pm

Location VC, 8 New Cabra Road, Dublin 7

Agenda

Please click here for full agenda

Opening address and introductions

Shane Halpin, CEO of Viatores Christi, current lead applicant and co-applicant in two EU AVI consortiums will deliver the opening address and introductions

Seminar

Oonagh Aitken former CEO of Volunteering Matters (the leading UK volunteering charity engaging more than 20,000 volunteers each year) and  current President of the international network Volonteurope  and board member of Solidar, the European Civic Forum and European Lifelong Learning Platform will lead a comprehensive seminar aimed at providing key information on access to EU funding sources, particularly the European Solidarity Corps (ECS) new strand: European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps and the application processes involved for private-sector companies, non-profit organisations, public bodies and local authorities/municipalities.

Suzanne Kavanagh, Senior Client Services Officer, Léargas, Ireland will also speak about the European Solidarity Corps and incorporation of EU Aid Volunteering 

Learn: 

  • about the European Solidarity Corps (ECS) inclusion of a new strand in the form of a new European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps will allow people to volunteer outside Europe and work on a diverse range of projects 

  • more about different EU-funding Programmes

Practical:

  • summary on how to develop pilot projects?

  • brief overview of the application process

  • how to access support and assistance resources for your organisation

  • examples of current local projects in receipt of EU funding

Networking:

  • Meet with representatives of local organisations currently involved in EU Aid Volunteering Initiative and Humanitarian Aid projects

Open Q&A Session:

If you are interested in more information then contact Colette Rooney on apply@viatoreschristi.com or +353 (0) 1 8689986

Refreshments provided.  This is a free event.

Enter our draw!

Enter the VC Summer Draw to win a cash prize and be in with the chance of winning a spot prize!

Our aim is to sell 500 tickets or more in this year’s VC Raffle, to raise much needed funds for VC to help us continue our vision to create a world of freedom, peace and justice, where people in vulnerable communities have greater opportunities to achieve their goals and contribute to society. The VC Draw is our major annual fundraiser and we really need your support.

Prizes

1st Prize €1,500

2nd Prize €750

3rd Prize €500

4th Prize €250

Plus Additional Spot Prizes on the day (e.g. €100 one4all voucher sponsored by Selective Travel and a Self Catering Holiday by the Sea on the Cooley Peninsula etc.)

The draw will be held on Saturday 27th July 2019

 

You can help by

· buying a ticket or two yourself (€30 each – 2 for €50) and/or

· selling some tickets to family and friends.

 

You can buy tickets and enter the draw using the following options:

Cash or cheque made payable to Viatores Christi

Electronic transfer to our bank: Bank of Ireland, College Green, D2,

BIC: BOFIIE2D, Account No. 38239797, Sort Code 90-00-17,

IBAN: IE34 BOFI 9000 1738 2397 97 -(remember to mention DRAW)

Purchase tickets online below:

Buy 1 x €30 VC Draw Ticket!
Buy 2 x VC Draw Tickets for €50!
Buy 3 x VC Draw Tickets for €75!
Buy 4 x VC Draw Tickets for €100!

 

Viatores Christi are so grateful for your continued support!

Retreat for VC Members & Friends 2019

Viatores Christi would like to invite you to a

Retreat & Gathering Led by Pat Coyle

Pat, a long time friend and supporter of VC is originally from Derry, and works as Director of Communications for the Jesuits in Ireland. She is a journalist, TV Producer and Presenter, a qualified Spiritual Director and an inspirational facilitator.

from Saturday 18th to Sunday 19th May

In An Tobar, Ardbraccan, Navan, Co Meath

Arrival on Saturday 18th May at 12.30pm for lunch (attendees may also arrive earlier) Closing on Sunday 19th May at 4pm approx (after Eucharist)

 Once again this year Viatores Christi invites all members, from across the years, as well as staff and trainees, past and present, friends and supporters, to a Retreat from Saturday 18th to Sunday 19th May 2019. As in recent years, we hope that this year’s ‘coming away for a little while’ will provide us with time for reflection and prayer but also allow us to re-kindle the spirit of our VC family while re-connecting with old friends and forming new relationships, sharing stories and enjoying companionship. 

Cost €80  (includes B&B (en suite) Saturday night and all meals and tea/coffee

To register:

Click here to download event booking form, complete and return by email to sally@viatoreschristi.com or by post with €30 deposit by Friday 10th May 2019

Payment Options:

Cash or cheque made payable to Viatores Christi

Electronic transfer to our bank: Bank of Ireland, College Green, D2,  BIC: BOFIIE2D, Account No. 38239797, Sort Code 90-00-17, IBAN: IE34 BOFI 9000 1738 2397 97 – (remember to mention Retreat)

Make a quick, secure online credit/debit card payment through our website below: 

Pay €30 deposit for VC Retreat
Pay Full Cost (€80) for VC Retreat  

 Getting there: An Tobar is located near Navan, Co. Meath and may be accessed via R157 and M3 or via M4 and R158 Please click here for more information Let us know if you would like a lift (we will try to facilitate this as far as possible) or if you can provide a lift to somebody else. For further information please email Nora Casey  or phone the VC office at 01-8689986. Looking forward to seeing you!

Project Cycle Management & Research Course at VC

PROJECT CYCLE MANAGEMENT & RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES COURSE

Duration: 1 Month

Dates: Saturday 13th April 2019 until Saturday 11th May 2019

Location: Viatores Christi, 8 New Cabra Road, Dublin 7 and online

Who is this for?
Existing or prospective MDOs, volunteers, development workers and missionaries who wish to gain greater knowledge of the principles of Project Cycle Management and Results Focused Planning as well as field based research methodologies.
Course Dates
This a one-month course which runs from Saturday 13th April 2019 until Saturday 11th May 2019
Methodology
  • An adult learning approach will be used which will be a mixture of didactic instruction, group work, case study, and shared experience.
  • This is a part facilitated and blended, web-enhanced course using expert facilitators and an online Moodle platform to provide learners with a integrated system to create personalised learning environments with a focus on interaction and collaborative discussion.
 Course Schedule Details
Facilitated Sessions
Project Cycle Management (Full Weekend Workshop)
VC HQ, Dublin 7 – 10am-5pm on Saturday 13th April & 2pm-5pm on Sunday 14th April 2019
Research Methodologies (3 Hour Session)
VC HQ, Dublin 7 – 2pm-5pm Saturday 11th May 2019
Online, web enhanced modules
Delivered using Moodle platform 
All modules are guided, monitored in an integrated system
PROJECT CYCLE MANAGEMENT, RESULTS FOCUSED PLANNING AND M&E MODULE 
Module Objectives:
To facilitate participants to
  • understand the principles and stages of Project Cycle Managementgain more knowledge of the principles and stages of Results Focused Planning
  • understand what Monitoring and Evaluation is all about, and how to conduct project monitoring and project evaluations
  • gain an increased confidence in relation to planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating a project or programme
Outline Content
  • The Project Cycle
    • Organisational Strategic Direction and Wider Policy Context
    • Problem Identification and Planning
    • Proposal Development and Financing
    • Implementation
    • Monitoring
    • Evaluation
  • Results Focused Planning
    • Activities Focused Approach vs. Results Focused Approach
    • Identification of the Overall Problem
    • Context and Organisational Analysis
    • Participation and Stakeholder Analysis
    • Problem Identification and Analysis, Needs Assessments
    • Objective Setting and Analysis
    • The Intervention Logic
    • Risks Analysis
    • Indicators and Means of Verification
  • Monitoring & Evaluation
    • Definitions, Types & Purpose of Monitoring
    • Monitoring vs Evaluation Purpose & Focus of Evaluation
    • OECD-DAC Evaluation Criteria
    • Monitoring and Evaluation in Practice
Learning Outcomes
  • By the end of the module, participants will be able to:
  • Use a results focused approach to planning interventions 
  • Use participatory techniques with local communities
  • Work with local communities to identify needs within the community
  • Plan with local communities and stakeholders in a collaborative manner
  • Plan sustainable, viable projects that respond to needs identified by local communities
  • Monitor the implementation and outcomes of projects
  • Organise an evaluation of the merits of the project 
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY MODULE
Module Objectives
To facilitate participants to
  •  understand the principles of research methodologies
  • be able to use various types of research methods
  • to understand participatory approaches to research
  • to understand some of the difficulties in carrying out research in developing countries
Methodology:
  • This module will be taught mostly online with a variety of methods, including core reading documents, quizzes, forum questions and videos followed by a 3 hour facilitated session in VC HQ. 
  • The session will allow for a practical application of the theory learnt during the online course.
Outline Content:
  • Principles of research methodologies:
  • Overarching research paradigms, ethics and methods; the research process
  • Designing, conducting and reporting on a variety of research methods for project assessment
  • Principles and methods of participatory research
  • Examples of situations of the difficulties and challenges of practical research in developing country contexts
Learning Outcomes:
Participants will be able to:
  • Think critically about different approaches to research
  • Have a basic knowledge of how to design, conduct and report on a variety of research methods
  • Have a basic knowledge of different approaches to participatory research
  • Have an introduction to the difficulties and challenges of conducting research in developing countries
How to join
Please email Colette@viatoreschristi.com or call 01-8689986
Course fee
€100 (lunch/refreshments costs included) 
Places are strictly limited
 

Philip Donnelly – Haiti

Update from Philip Donnelly, on assignment with Gena Heraty in the NPH Kendscoff Orphanage, Haiti

For the first six weeks of my assignment, I was based solely in Kay Christine where I addressed the serious condensation problem which was causing mould growth. I stripped and repaired all walls, installed fans in the kitchen, bathrooms and dining areas, and installed air vents in bedrooms.

I then repaired and fully restored 30 tables and chairs (which would be thrown out, if in Ireland)!

A consignment of hospital wardrobes came via Espwa from Ireland and I repaired, customised and installed these in the children’s rooms.

I also repaired/replaced drainpipes around the residences which were incorrectly installed in the first place, causing issues.

The Espwa team from Ireland visited for 2 weeks in October and we constructed 3 extensions on to the children’s residences.  I’m now taking on the second fix period for these and will complete all works.

I find Monday – Friday go fast but weekends can be lonely. I  time to go hiking or running on Saturdays.  I’m also teaching some children boxing and Espwa are going to supply kit for this. I also try to keep busy by taking 5 Creole lessons each week!

 

Aisling Foley – South Africa

HOME OF HOPE – UPDATE OCT 2018

September was a busy month for Home of Hope. In 2015 Home of Hope purchased an old property called Mimosa House. It had been acknowledged by the Board of Home of Hope that as the children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) grew older they began to exhibit more serious behavioural problems particularly physical aggression towards their caregivers. A decision was therefore made to put the children who were in the long term care of Home of Hope into one central home. The home was to continue to have a family type atmosphere (the maximum number of children is 25) but with more support for the caregivers and more centralised services to be provided by the Home of Hope social worker. The renovations took a long time to carry out as they were quite extensive. The property had previously been an old age home for the last 30 years and so was in quite a bad state of repair. Many local and international individuals and organisations generously helped us to undertake the renovations both through donations of time, materials and money.

home of hope 2 South Africa

Finally in Sept 2018 the Dept. of Social Development came to visit Mimosa House for the final time and awarded the home registration as a Child & Youth Care Home. It took a long time and lots of blood, sweat and tears to finalise the registration and so much credit is due to our hard working staff.

home of hope South Africa

To celebrate this registration we had an Open Day at Mimosa House in October. The children were hugely involved by baking cupcakes and serving juice to our funders and also proudly giving them tours of their new home.

Mimosa House has been a long journey and it will continue to be a road with bumps along the way but for now we are blessed to have all the children living in a wonderful new home where they are safe and loved.

Brian Lynch – Uganda

14th Feb. 2019

A great update here from Brian Lynch, currently working in Uganda:

 

I’ve been working on an elder-care project, in Fort Portal, in the western region of Uganda. There is a huge variation in health among the elders here. Some only have a few problems while others have multiple ailments. Those who are worst off are those who cannot work due to age, disability, weakness or illness, who have no assets and receive only minimal help from their family, friends or local community. They are the neediest among the elders – those who cannot afford healthcare.

Many of the elders are women and generally, they’re more marginalised and vulnerable than the men, particularly in terms of lack of income and education. (People with disabilities and children in this area suffer most marginalisation and are most vulnerable, due to incidences of violence, discrimination, physical and mental abuse, accusations of witchery, and being ignored). This project is targeting those who are worst off in Fort Portal in terms of income, education and health.

It is important in assessing needs among these elders, that it is done on a case-by-case basis for individual or home-visit care, as many with HIV/ AIDS, cancer or other serious illnesses or disabilities who are able to work, can afford healthcare and have some support can be dying – they too need the support of the project.

Fort_Portal_Uganda

 

My Advice if you are a new Volunteer

While I’ve been working in Africa, for the most part, I have lived on-site or very   close to my workplace, which is great. There is little or no daily commute and on top of that, due to the nature of my work, I have found most local bosses have been quite flexible around my hours of work. Once I’m flexible too, it works out well. I’ve usually been allowed to work in a mix of situations, combining working from the office, in the field and from my home. Local bosses here have been laid back and once I deliver on targets and outputs I find they leave me to get on with the job in hand.

My advice to anyone preparing to go overseas, say to Africa, for example, include noting that most things you will require during your stay are available locally, in some cases just in the cities, however,  so check out how accessible places are to your placement location. Things you won’t find here include anti-bald shampoo, herbal sleeping tablets, plug-in rodent deterrents (but you really needn’t worry about that – you will see rodents here just about as much as you would normally at home)! Other items you may wish to bring are fungal creams, heads for electric toothbrushes, shoe insoles, new cables for smartphones. Basically, I would say, if you need medicines, fancy bathroom or new technology stuff, its probably best to bring them with you. Books, by the way, can be very expensive to buy. And, of course, if there’s anything you think might be useful for your project, bring it with you.

Local Food

While there are only two ‘muzungu food’ places in my local town, the local food in other restaurants is generally fine, but then I can eat most things. The fruits, vegetables, sticks of meat and African tea are very good for me.

Daily Life

As the days in Africa can be quite long, its probably best to get used to going to bed at 10 / 11 pm and getting up for 6 am. The early morning and evening are the best times of day for weather, or exercise. And this is how Ugandans, who themselves work, seem to do it.

If you are living alone, its good to bring things you might use to occupy/entertain yourself with in the evenings. Phone calls home are less expensive in the evenings too, so that’s useful to know.

Socialising

I find its really, really easy to meet people here, if you want to. Most people here want to get to know you, anyway. I’d say that if you stay here for a long time and enjoy getting to know local people, you will probably know too many people by the time you are half-way into your placement.

The people are very friendly and it’s interesting to tell them about Ireland and ask about Uganda. What can get annoying is that people will ask you for things all the time. I’m generally a generous person but by knowing too many people I had to learn to be a bit strict around this issue – and patient too. I find this happens less with people I’m working with, and richer Ugandans, than with general workers or small business owners around the town.

uganda people

 

The Ugandan Perspective

Many Ugandans have told me, and to an extent it is true, that when they see you, they see money!

Moving On

I’m working on a different project now, in Kisoro district as a monitoring and evaluation officer in the Diocese of Muhabura health department. It is a maternal and child-health project and involves improving the reports sent to the district.

 

We look forward to hearing all about it when you get a chance, Brian.