Impact: Our Volunteer
Rob, a Chemistry graduate with experience in research, writing and project management gained valuable experience of working with a grassroots NGO, and developed his skills in communications and research. He is now Project Support Officer for Concern Universal.
Impact: The Placement
ARDR, an organisation helping the poor and underprivileged, needed help with research, funding and communications. Rob developed new projects, acquired funding and helped to train staff, thus building the future capacity of ARDR.
2Way Development Volunteer: Rob Giddings
Rob, a Chemistry graduate, had built up significant experience within educational and product development based organisations in the years preceding his placement. He had developed skills in research, report writing, project planning and implementation, and problem solving.
He was motivated to volunteer by a desire to gain practical experience of working in grassroots development, with his eventual aim being to make the transition into the international development sector. He hoped that his placement would provide him with the opportunity to use his skills and to live in another culture whilst undertaking sustainable work that would contribute to the development of an organisation over time.
ARDR needed a volunteer with good skills in research, report writing, and project development. Rob was placed with ARDR due to his experience in research, report writing and stakeholder communications. Furthermore, some of ARDR’s projects matched his interest in the areas of water protection and infrastructure development. During his placement Rob spent time working with staff and beneficiaries to identify, develop and gain funding for new projects. He also focused on monitoring and evaluating existing projects, training staff and communications.
Impact: Rob’s Career Progression
“I am now working as Project Support Officer for the NGO Concern Universal in Guinea. I am responsible for project design and proposal writing, researching new funders and securing new funding. I am also project officer for several ongoing projects, working directly with our partners to ensure the project is successful. My placement and the experience gained during my placement were the main reasons I was offered the job. My placement itself gave me experience of working in development - project management, working in the field and with communities, donor report writing and also about the strengths and weakness of local NGOs.”
“The experience gained has been very useful in my current position as I have a knowledge of development, and I could positively input ideas into the project design process from my first day in Guinea.”
“Working in the field for a local NGO helped me to understand the situation in rural Rwanda and gave me the base knowledge to start thinking about effective sustainable solutions to the problems facing rural Rwanda. I then used this knowledge to help the NGO develop ideas for projects”
“Some of the ideas and suggestions I had were adopted to great success and helped ensure that the NGO secured funding to extend a project when many other local NGOs failed to secure successive years of funding.”
2Way Development Partner: Rwandan Association for Rural Development (ARDR)
Based just outside Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, ARDR deals with issues of poverty and under-development. Since its establishment in 1999, the organisation has worked to protect human rights and promote gender equality. Its main programmes focus on:
- Counselling, support services and skills training for people living with HIV/AIDS.
- Literacy training for poorly educated young people.
- Income generation programmes for vulnerable groups, including vocational training, micro-loans and marketing support.
- Training in agricultural techniques for local farmers.
- Hand water pumps in rural locations and community education on water management.
Impact: The Placement
- Rob helped brainstorm, develop and write project proposals with staff and management. This involved meetings and visits with various stakeholders and beneficiaries in the field.
- Rob helped to acquire funding from the Japanese embassy to build a training centre for cooperatives in a rural community where ARDR work.
- Rob researched and produced a spreadsheet of potential future funders.
- Rob trained and supported staff, including English language and ICT training.
- Finally he participated in field visits and helped with needs assessments.