This is a photo of the library that LUCIA built at Saria – I fundraised for it last year (my school raised £5000 in a term) and I’m reviewing the project now as part of a grant proposal for a girls’ toilet block and handwash station on the same site.
Unfortunately there’s been a bit of an issue with the stoves project, so I’ve shifted my research focus into Bees! Ethiopia produces about 40000 tonnes of honey a year, and we’re looking into developing a bee project of sorts to help communities make money. I’ve got no experience with bees – so I’ve been doing a huge amount of product analysis, reading papers and reports and budgets for the different kinds of beehives (who knew you there were so many different types of beehive!?), and I’m currently chatting with my supervisor about us running the project itself, instead of going through an NGO – which would be a first for the charity and really exciting!
So on Wednesday I submitted the memorandum of understanding for my first project.
I didn’t do a lot of work on this one, but I took it over because it was convenient and I’m waiting on a reply from our people in Ethiopia before I can go on with the stoves and wash-station one.
Basically, we wanted to build a farm at the Saria Kebele Primary School in Amhara, Ethiopia. This is all well and good – but how is it going to work? Our contact in Ethiopia had put together a budget and a proposal for us, and I had to go through it and put it into a Memorandum of Understanding (basically, the sort of contract that NGOs use).
So I’m coming up to the end of my first week. It’s actually been really good!
Yesterday I went to one of the trustees’ meetings and had a quick chat about some of my ideas (they’ve been in the pipeline for about a year, so a lot longer than the placement). They seemed really enthusiastic about them, and how the charity is going to be moving forward. I would really recommend working with a smaller charity – there are only 8 trustees of LUCIA so I actually feel like they value my input and will consider my suggestions seriously.
Other than that, I’ve done some initial research into the stoves project and how to apply for funding.
So I’m just on lunch break for my first day at work! I’m at LUCIA (Life Uplifted by Change in Africa), a small Birmingham based charity that works with women and children in Ethiopia. I’ve been working with them for a while now doing fundraising, and I decided to do Charity Insights so that I could get more involved with the research and problem-solving skills that they do. You can find out more at http://www.luciacharity.org.uk/
So far I’ve had the usual introduction and health and safety talk, and discussed my project with my supervisor. Initially, I’m going to be looking at how to get funding for the grassroots projects that they’re looking at in Rural Ethiopia.