Saturday, July 19, 2014

A bitter-sweet Transition

After 11 weeks of hard work and lots of fun, it is time to say goodbye to our Cohort 8 UK volunteers (UKVs) and welcome our new Cohort 9 volunteers! For the Cohort 4-8 in-country volunteers (ICVs), Angie and Inti, it has been an especially moving few weeks as their 12-month posts as cooperantes técnicos have come to an end. We also now welcome our new ICVs, Alejandro and María Reneé to the ChildFund team.

As Team Leader of the ChildFund project, I would like to share a few words thanking Angie, Inti, Ana, Jade, Adam, and Eilidh for their enthusiasm, ideas, adaptability and dedication over the past months. Working across several children’s centres in vulnerable areas of La Paz, we have all learnt much about the reality of children’s lives in the city, as well as a greater understanding of how ChildFund operates on the ground.

Our shared experience has been at times frustrating, at times immensely inspiring. As those following the blog might have seen, we have had fantastic opportunities to engage with children, youth and their families in fun activities such as games, workshops, mural painting, and even home visits.

Very proud of Cohort 8's mural at Las Lomas!

Our final activity as a team was an evaluation event at the Cinemateca in La Paz, to which all of our project partners were invited. Ana (UKV), Inti (ICV), and I presented our achievements and experiences over the past few months and we then had the opportunity to discuss with our Bolivian project partners how best we develop the project over the next few months. This was a fantastic close to a rollercoaster ride of a few months and I am personally very excited to continue working with our dedicated ChildFund partners.

Moving forward into Cohort 9, I will be working with our new cooperantes técnicos, María Renée and Alejandro, and 4 new UKVs: Dalanda, Valentina, Richard, and Jessica. Together, we will work closely with our partners to plan strategically how best to support the centres and the communities they in turn support.

The new team busy planning

This week has been spent planning closely with our local partners. We have decided to focus our efforts on a few, high-quality activities in the children’s centres and are all agreed that focussing on developing good relationships and inter-cultural exchange is the most positive approach to our short time here. Next week is Cohort 9’s first week in the centres working with the children. We are all very excited to work with the children, educators, and communities and we hope to give as much as we will surely learn from them!

Written by Kelly-Marie Roberts.

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  1. The mural looks fantastic - great work. Well done cohort 8 and best of luck to cohort 9!
    Kay - International Service Office UK

  2. Thanks Kay! The ChildFund team are pretty handy with a paintbrush! :-)