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Awst 2010

Wales for Africa

Postiwyd gan Mari Gordon ar 2 Awst 2010

I've now got all the information on my assignement and it sounds excellent - when i read it it made me smile. I'm excited but of course it's a bit daunting too, and there's certainly a lot for me to do in eight weeks, but it would be a bit pointless otherwise. The people that run the ILO programme have done a good job on the 'matching' process (I'll describe the whole application process later).

I'll be working with the Civic Forum for Housing, an umbrella organization that supports various charities working on housing and land rights issues. The Forum wants to build its profile in order to recruit more member-charities and improve its fundraising. So I'll be developing a brand with them and producing brand/profile policies and documentation - I absolutely can't wait to get stuck in.

I'll be based in Lusaka but will travel to visit the various charities, one of which is in Livingstone, which I hope (or should I say, presume) means I'll get to visit Victoria Falls. The African name for the Falls is Mosi-oa-Tunya, which means 'smoke that thunders' - name sort of says it all, really. According to my research transport across the country is neither quick nor comfortable. On my return to Wales, I think I'll be complaining a lot less about the A470.

Wales for Africa

Postiwyd gan Mari Gordon ar 2 Awst 2010

I'm taking a huge step both personally and professionally and I'm off to Africa - Zambia, to be precise. This October and November I'll be in Lusaka, working with a forum of housing and land rights charities.

I'm one of about 15 (lucky) people from all over Wales going to Africa as part of the Assembly's International Learning Opportunities (ILO) scheme. The scheme provides development opportunites for managers from the Welsh public sector and helps Wales fulfill the UN's Millennium Development Goals as part of the Wales for Africa initiative.

At a presentation last week for people who went to Africa last year Carwyn Jones, the First Minister, talked about Wales's contribution to development in Africa. For instance Wales makes up about a quarter of all the UK's links with hospitals in Africa - we really punch above our weight when it comes to international development. I've felt many things since I found out I had a place on the scheme (excited, mostly anxious...) but listening to that speech I felt really proud.

More details will follow very soon.