Putting a Human face behind the Email

In order to enhance the spirit of south-north exchange as well as putting a human face behind the email, skype or phone call as well as improving effectiveness and efficiency in managing organisational change, I was attached to SCI Catalunya in Spain for job shadowing. This accorded me a very rare chance to put things in to perspective by seeing my own organisation with different eyes. The program was action packed, pregnant with opportunities because I was offered the chance of a life time to have one on one session with the entire SCI staff members, some few board members as well as one ex staff/ board member. This was a perfect learning opportunity because it offered me a very good chance to lean all the different departments at SCI Catalunya within a very short time. Working alongside the staff and board members created a very rare chance for mutual learning as well as strengthening our partnership. One of the greatest lessons learnt was the fundraising strategies employed by SCI which is more local and sustainable. I was impressed by the approach which I will call friend raising as opposed to fund raising.

I actively participated in the training of the outgoing volunteers, this gave me respectable time to try and understand the needs and aspirations of the young volunteer from Spain on why do they volunteer to different parts of the world.  I was accorded the opportunity to present projects from East and Southern Africa, this was very health because it challenged my imagination.  I also took advantage of being in Barcelona the home of Cocat and visit their office so as exchange notes as well as putting a human face behind the phone calls or email with the staff members at Cocat. This was an amazing experience because, I witnessed how two sister organisations are complementing each other in volarising international voluntary services in the same city but employing different strategies.

The key deliverable output of the job shadowing was the consensus agreement to pitch proposal with SCI Catalunya under the auspices of the Erasmus plus program.  The proposal will try and raise resource for a joint camp coordinators capacity building program. We intend to harmonise training programs for camp coordinators, this will go a long way in improving effective and efficiency in running our workcamps as well as improving partnership between the two-sister organisation since we will be using the same manual for camp management. The idea is also to include other sister partner organisations in Asia and the Americas.

Ratherford Mwaruta, ZWA


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