2013!! Had you asked me where I would be in five years time in 2008, I could never have envisaged that I would be working for a sport for development organisation like WhizzKids United in South Africa. However, since then, I have completed a Sports Development degree and spent a lot of time in Swaziland, so gaining more experience in the field of international development seemed like the next natural step for me.
I have been here for almost three months now and have really enjoyed my time in Durban so far. WhizzKids United is certainly one of the best organisations that I have come across that works with young people with a particular focus on tackling the HIV & AIDS epidemic in terms of the number of youth reached, the level of support and treatment available, the efficiency of using sport to attract its participants and the number of partners and funders that have been established and maintained to continue its work. I have often found that organisations always look better on paper than in practice, but WKU seems to have improved each year and I can only imagine the positive impact the new FIFA Football for Hope Centre will have when it is built later on in the year.
My second day at WKU saw me travel to Edendale to begin a two week workshop run by inFocus (a trilateral partnership) to provide specialist monitoring and evaluation training and support, as well as providing us with a new user- friendly database software. It was really interesting for me as I was able to immediately get a better understanding of all things ‘WhizzKids’. It also set me up for the task ahead of setting up and becoming the administrator of the inFocus software for WKU. My time since the workshop has been spent reviewing and amending all of our data collection tools and taking part in remote workshops via Skype to set up the software. I am looking to have it completed by the end of January so that it can be used by all members of staff as soon as possible. The software will then allow for more informative reports to capture and communicate the impact of our work which will be very helpful when liaising with our funders!
Aside from life in the office, I have enjoyed getting to know the rest of the team, spending Friday nights at Amsterdam, exploring the markets and spending as much time on the beach as possible! I have also just arrived back from Christmas and New Year spent in Kenya which was an incredible experience. It isn't your average Christmas Day when you watch a Cheetah chase and catch its breakfast and then share it with her three cubs! I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to be here and very much look forward to seeing what the rest of my year's internship has in store for me!