The first week of my internship at The Long Well Walk is officially finished and so far the programme has been everything I wanted it to be and more….
The charity I’m working with, The Long Well Walk, is one which funds and supports water projects in sub-Saharan Africa, aiming to raise awareness of the water poverty there and improve living conditions for as many people as possible. It’s truly an amazing charity, created by one man, Liam Garcia who had this vision to fight water poverty and decided to raise the money to do so by literally doing a Long (very long) Well Walk. This meant walking from Sheffield, his home town, to Cape Town, South Africa. Yeah. Crazy stuff.
So far, Liam has walked the European leg of his journey and sets off again this October to complete the African leg, aiming to stop by all of his projects, old and new, along the way. Since creating this one (slightly ridiculous) idea, the charity has blossomed, and Liam now has a team working away in Sheffield. One thing I love about The Long Well Walk is it’s transparency – the creation of his own, small charity rather than being sponsored to support an existing one meant that Liam can control exactly where the money goes and trust that there’s no middle man, every penny raised helps to give someone, somewhere a better life. Before even finishing the walk, he’s set up and completed multiple projects, digging boreholes and installing latrine systems for partner communities in Africa… Do I need to explain why I wanted to work with this charity?
The overall aim of my 4 week placement is to design and produce an outreach programme which will be taken into schools and colleges in the UK in September with the goal of increasing the awareness of water and sanitation issues in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa, educating students and staff of the potential solutions and the long term aim of generating fundraising to support even more projects through relationships developed with each school.
This week, my role has been to create the skeleton of the programme, developing a clearer structure for us to work with through meetings with both primary and secondary school teachers. As a quick breakdown:
- Monday was spent familiarising myself with the charity and its work and the strategies behind how it plans projects and collaborates with the partner organisations in Africa. This gave me the understanding of how the charity will benefit the most from the programme.
- Tuesday was spent researching and beginning to develop ideas for possible activities, fundraising techniques and possible different programme options that could be offered to the schools.
- Wednesday and Thursday consisted of looooooong days of meetings with primary and secondary school teachers to gain an insight into what could be feasible, realistic and provide the maximum benefit to both the students and the charity. These days proved to be incredibly useful in sharing and fleshing out ideas and creating a solid backbone to the programme.
- Friday was spent writing up the notes from the previous days and consolidating the ideas. By the end of this week we have clear programme options and task lists for next week where the ball will roll full steam ahead in research and filling out the details on activities, resources and logistics.