Nicco's time in Sri Lanka

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It all started when…

I decided to volunteer with Street Child as I wanted to learn about the work of an international NGO and gain a good understanding from the early stages of field research to the communication with partners and the writing of proposals. Street Child was offering me just that. I got the impression that I would learn a lot from an experience with Street Child, so I applied and I was not disappointed.

During my time in Sri Lanka, I had to perform a multiplicity of tasks. Right upon my arrival, I was sent to the Eastern coast to meet local partners and visit orphanages. I spent time travelling around the country and talking with locals, trying to understand the problems of our target community and build relationships with other NGOs. I worked on a project proposal aiming at reducing the dropout rate in the Batticaloa District. I also looked into the issue of natural disasters, specifically floods and droughts, and their consequences for children’s education. I wrote a business plan laying down the necessary steps to address such problems. I am curious to see how the projects will evolve in the future.

Sri Lanka is hot and humid. Working conditions were not always optimal, but this is something I knew when I signed up to the programme. Communication with supervisors and other co-workers can be difficult as they are often based in different countries. Nevertheless, I had a wonderful time and volunteering with Street Child was a very formative experience. I learned that humanitarian work is complicated. There is a lot of research work behind every project. Many times, it can be difficult to reconcile the donors’ interests with the needs of the communities we are trying to help. This is a very valuable lesson and something I will take with me in my future career.

I am currently working part-time at the Street Child’s London office. I am in the Trust & Foundations Team and we are preparing for the Right to Learn campaign. It is a friendly environment and I very much enjoy being here. Street Child’s projects are incredible and the organisation is constantly expanding which makes it very exciting to be here at this time.