After completing my studies in human rights in Italy, I moved to the UK and I came to 2Way Development to gain relevant work experience as a first step into a career in the international development sector. Through 2Way Development I did a placement in Lebanon in 2009, and upon return I completed an MSc in Development Studies and began working with 2Way Development. I originally supported operations at our head office in London and in October 2012 I moved overseas to overview operations in Central and South America. Since then, I’ve worked from Mexico, Guatemala and Peru, where I am currently based.
Through 2Way Development I volunteered for 6 months for a child-rights organisation called Naba’a Development Action Without Borders. Naba’a works with communities living in Palestinian refugee camps across Lebanon, with programmes ranging from education, health and human rights advocacy. My role involved supporting with communication work, needs assessments and proposal writing. Volunteering made me realise how valuable a well-organised placement can be for all the parties involved – the volunteer, the organisation, the local community. This is why I find working with 2Way Development incredibly rewarding: it's great to experience first hand the impact that each placement has on the work of our partners but also on the personal and professional life of our volunteers.
Current Role with 2Way Development
My current role in Latin America involves researching, screening and selecting local NGOs in need of volunteer expertise. It also involves visiting and strengthening our relationship with existing partners, discussing their current activities, their ideas for the future, and working together to identify ways in which volunteers can contribute to make their plans reality. Gaining a full understanding of our partner's needs allows us to ensure that every placement we organise has a real impact and that it matches the needs of the organisation and the skills and the objectives of the volunteer. My role also involves working closely with volunteers travelling to the region, providing them with support before departure and during their placements. It goes without saying that being based in the region brings a lot of benefits to volunteers, as it puts me in a very good position to give advice on practical and cultural issues. On top of my work in Latin America, I also oversee all of our overseas placements, and am the main point of contact for other regional managers around the world.