Impact: Our Volunteer
Annabelle, a Law graduate, wanted to transfer her knowledge into practice. In her placement, she gained practical experience of development work and learned how to communicate its impact. She now works in the Advocacy department of Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
Impact: The Placement
Annabelle’s placement was in Development Alternatives (DA), an Indian social enterprise working to eradicate poverty. DA needed help with documentation, research and advocacy work. Annabelle carried out interviews and research, and published a book of case studies.
2Way Development Volunteer: Annabelle Bentham
Before volunteering with 2Way Development, Annabelle had graduated with a degree in Law and gained professional experience working for the British Heart Foundation. During her degree Annabelle had spent a year living in France and volunteered with Oxfam and Amnesty International, so an overseas volunteer placement represented a clear progression to international development work and a great opportunity to engage with her core interests of human rights and development.
Annabelle’s writing and research skills were matched well with DA’s need for documentation and she joined them for 9 months in 2006/7. Annabelle spent her time interviewing DA’s staff and beneficiaries in the field and producing a book of case studies to show the impact of DA’s work. To do this she had to carry out background research, plan and carry out a series of interviews and organise photo and audio documentation.
Impact: Annabelle’s Career Progression
Annabelle gained first hand knowledge of working and living in South Asia, and developed solid writing and campaigning skills in her placement. She now works as an Advocacy officer in a UK based organisation called Christian Solidarity Worldwide, focussing her work on the South Asia region, and in particular Pakistan and India.
“The atmosphere at the farm interview was one I know I'll remember; a wonderfully tranquil, early morning scene. It made a big difference that Ram was so knowledgeable and keen to talk about his experiences. He's doing a huge amount to spread natural farming methods locally; really helping to improve local yields.”
“I don’t know how I’ll be able to convey all this at home…it’s been exactly what I hoped for. Such a blessing.”
2Way Development Partner: Development Alternatives (DA)
Established in 1983, Development Alternatives is a social enterprise based in India. DA’s objectives are to innovate and disseminate the means for creating sustainable livelihoods on a large scale and thus to mobilise widespread action to eradicate poverty and regenerate the environment. Their programmes focus on the following areas:
- Technology development, such as solar power, irrigation, brick manufacturing, biomass systems.
- Livelihoods and housing support, including house-building initiatives, clean drinking water, technical support for farmers and community solar power projects.
- Climate change and environmental protection, including an adaptation and mitigation campaign.
- Training and community empowerment, such as vocational skills training, literacy programmes and radio broadcasts.
DA required a volunteer with good communication and research skills to document their work, produce case studies and support their staff.
Impact: The Placement
- Annabelle produced a book of case studies, documenting the impact of DA’s work on local communities.
- She carried out interviews with the people targeted by DA, and with DA’s partners in the field.
- She also carried out extensive research into DA’s work and spent time in the field.
- She helped to edit and proof-read her colleagues work and passed on her knowledge to the staff of DA.