Have you voted for WYI as your favourite charity yet? Click here to vote now and help us win $5000!
An Update from the General Manager
- Adam Whitefield, General Manager of WYI
Is it really April already??
As we approach the end of our financial year here at WYI, I have been looking back at all that we have achieved as an organisation this past 12 months, and it makes me really proud.
Odede Community Health Centre
The big news of the quarter, and indeed the entire year, has been the official opening of the Odede Community Health Centre in Kenya. The project has been almost two years in the making, with extensive community consultations leading to a participatory project design, comprehensive budget, and now the implementation of the project. I would like to particularly acknowledge Celia Boyd and Fred Mito (pictured right), who in partnership have worked tirelessly over the past six months to ensure that the Odede community and the Ministry of Health are right behind the project.
Already the facility has treated over 500 people and delivered two beautiful babies, and support within the community has been incredible. Now, with the community co-operative re-energised through WYI-supported agricultural projects, and the mamas fair trade craft group taking their production and sales to another level, there is a real buzz in Odede again and it is amazing to be a part of it.
Successful overseas programs
Huge thanks must go to our recent OAP team leaders Dan Toole and Issy Veerhoven (Nepal), Simone O'Connor and Anthea Fraser (Kenya), and more recently Katy Condliffe and Linsie Davies who have just successfully completed our first ever Nurses in Action program in Kenya. We could not be prouder of you all. Credit must also go to our OA programs team here in the WYI Office - Alice and Terry - for working closely with our ICCs in-country to ensure that WYI continues to deliver high quality programs for both our volunteers, and importantly, the communities in which we serve. Well done to everyone on another awesome round of OAPs!
Over the past few months there have been a number of other important projects in the pipeline. Each of these have been created to lay some strong foundations so that WYI may diversify its revenue streams, and ultimately become more sustainable and compete in an ever-changing volunteer sector.
And remember, for those of you on Facebook and Twitter make sure you follow our respective pages to keep up to date on all that's happening within WYI!
- WYI's partnership with Ryan Campbell is an exciting one, as he prepares for his world record breaking solo flight around the world. Follow Ryans progress online and check out the Dare 2 Dream scholarship fund we have set up in celebration of his mission.
- Our Superhero Campaign is really gathering steam and we already have 4 schools in SA who have pre-registered their interest. A special thanks to Kate and Jack Pettman (pictured right) for delivering our Superhero proposal to a special corporate sponsor. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more updates as they come to hand!
- Working in partnerships in each of our countries is going to be a key feature of our future overseas programs, and with the help of intern and upcoming Peru OAP team leader, Maddy Shearer, we have developed a new partnering criteria and made a really good start on a new Development Strategy which will help to articulate exactly what WYI's contribution to the sector will be. We have also secured a new partner organisation in Peru which is really exciting, and for those of you heading over in June 2013 you are in for a real treat!
- With the assistance of returned AYAD Erin Gregg, WYI has made a strong start on developing a comprehensive risk management framework which will help us identify the key risks we face as an organisation, and how we need to mitigate those.
- Our Facebook and Twitter pages continue to build momentum, and our Facebook page in particular has become the number one source of WYI updates so be sure to stay in touch!
- WYI is also about to formalise a partnership with an awesome new Aussie company called Global Organic Coffee. Jump onto their website to check out their great range of organic and free trade coffees
- This quarter we bid farewell to the wonderful Kate Breuer who has taken up a position with the Red Cross. Kate has had a long involvement with WYI as a volunteer and assistant team leader in Kenya, PEP Coordinator and as a valued member of our office team for two years. We love her, miss her very much already and know that she will continue to achieve great things!
- We also said goodbye to our two amazing marketing interns - Nick Van Zanten and Adriana Paul. Nick and Adriana became such valuable members of the WYI team, and during their time here completed audits of our website, social media channels and communications, as well as volunteer surveys and competitor analyses. We wish Nick and Adriana all the very best with their future endeavours.
- I would also like to welcome Ann Shuttleworth to the WYI team as our new Child Sponsorship Coordinator (Kenya). Ann comes to WYI with a wealth of experience in HR and Administration, and has slotted in seamlessly. Ann takes over from Deb Hoey, who after 8 years of dedicated volunteer service is moving into a new and exciting chapter of her life, and we wish her all the very best!
- Finally, we've had a few more additions to our team in recent weeks. I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new office volunteers: Caroline, Myra, Dion and Jacqueline who are all assisting us with a range of key tasks, including our national flyer blitz, Superhero Campaign, and also our new Odede Hospital. Welcome aboard ladies!
6 Months in Kenya
- Celia Boyd, Project Management Support Office, Kenya
It's mid April 2013 and I'm coming to the end of my six month placement in Kenya, working as a Project Management Support Officer for World Youth International. It's amazing to think that I left last year's PEP in May feeling energized and motivated to do something more in Kenya, and as a result am now finishing up the most epic 6 months of my life.
After being both a participant and team leader in Kenya for World Youth previously, I was pretty confident travelling over here for a third time and didn't think there was too much that could shock me again. But focusing primarily on a health project in a capacity building role is different to anything I've done before, and the challenges have been huge but all the more rewarding.
I was lucky enough to work alongside the amazing Fred Mito, WYI's In Country Coordinator for Kenya, helping with the planning of the Odede Community Hospital project. The first thing we did was research and community engagement - this mostly consisted of lots and lots of community meetings. We met with the whole community, the men, the women, the youth, the community health workers. Then we met with them all again, and asked them to nominate representatives to be members of the Community Hospital Management Team - a team whose primary role is to act as the link between the community and the hospital, ensuring community members are kept informed and involved in the project and also making key decisions such as the fees for consultations. During all of these many meetings we asked people over and over, "what do you want? What is most important for you and for this community?" The answers were varied, but many also had a common theme - maternal and child health care.
Click here to read more about Celia's time in Kenya.
Inaugural Nurses in Action Program a Success
- Lauren Dunne, NIA Participant
On March 14 2013 the inaugural Nurses in Action program kicked off in Kenya. Thirteen health professionals from around Australia eagerly anticipated a month of work in the recently opened community hospital in Odede. The team, from all over Australia, consisted of nurses, midwives, mental health specialists, a social worker and an occupational therapist, gathered in Nairobi for orientation and a cultural introduction to life in Kenya.
Part of orientation included a visit to David Sheldrick's elephant orphanage and the giraffe sanctuary where we came face to face (literally!) with some inquisitive giraffes and watched the baby elephants bottle feed and play, much to the delight of our excited Aussie team. After three days in our secluded campsite we headed off early on a bus to Kisumu, through the picturesque Rift Valley, past ramshackle corrugated iron slums plastered with mobile phone advertisements and cattle grazing along the roadside. More intensive orientation and preparation preceded our journey to the small Village of Odede, a lush, lakeside farming village which was to be our home for the next three weeks.
Unfortunately, due to lots of administrative delays typical in Kenya, the hospital had not yet opened and we waited with nervous anticipation to hear word of government approval. Nothing however, could dampen the amazing welcome that greeted us as we turned off the main road for the entrance to Odede. One hundred smiling, waving and singing women and children surrounded our bus and danced us down the dirt road in bright colourful dresses and mostly bare feet. We were all awestruck in our bus, laughing and crying and overwhelmed by the love and welcome we received. As the road curved we got our first glimpse of the hospital, warm and welcoming with the World Youth logo painted out the front. It filled us with hope that the hospital would open and we could help to make a real difference to this loving community. Our days were constantly filled with laughing children waving and running to hold our hands as we walked to work; smiling men and women working the fields and calling out a welcome to us; and hopeful faces lighting up with smiles as they shook our hands and we tried our hand at a few Luo words.
Read about the remainder of the first ever Nurses in Action Program here.
Overseas Action Program Update
- Alice Johnson, Overseas Action Program Coordinator
Our November Overseas Action Programs to Nepal and Kenya came to an end in February, and we couldn't be more impressed with the programs' outcomes.
Simone O'Connor, Anthea Fraser and their teams in Kenya took part in two projects over the November to February period. The first half of the program was based at Apuoyo Mixed Secondary School, where Simone and Anthea's team of six female volunteers constructed a sturdy new kitchen to replace the previous old tin structure. The second half of the program was based in the lakeside village of Odede, where the much larger group of thirteen worked to complete a variety of projects for WYI's new Odede Community Health Centre. The team constructed a set of drop-pit toilets, and painted and partitioned several walls of an existing building. The energetic group also built fifty sets of desks and chairs for the local Ochiang'a Primary School to help the institution expand and become a secondary school.
In Nepal, Daniel Toole and Isabella Verhoeven led their OAP teams in constructing two significant projects during the ten week period. The first project was based in the small agrarian community of Maaitar during November and December 2012, where they constructed a 160,000L irrigation tank to support the local farmers. Five new volunteers joined the group at the beginning of January, and the team travelled to the village of Halade to construct and fit out two new classrooms for Kalika Lower Secondary School. The new rooms have provided the school with the space and facilities to educate more children from the local area, as well as boost morale among teachers and students alike.
Our hearty congratulations go out to all of our participants and Team Leaders for their magnificent achievements in Nepal and Kenya. We are so proud of their hard work, dedication and passion for helping others!
In other news, Ainslee Wight and Katrina Pedler and their small team of OAP volunteers in Nepal have just completed their first project! The group had been based in Halade since mid-March, where they worked hard to construct a 50,000L water tank for Kalika Lower Secondary School. The water tank looks incredible and will have a big impact on the local area. It will provide clean drinking water for the pupils, staff and wider community and also improve the overall sanitation and cleanliness of the school. Five new volunteers are now on their way to join the program, and will contribute to an enormous Community Building project in the beautiful agricultural community of Jwanetar. We look forward to seeing the final outcome of their hard work in approximately one month's time!
Finally, we have recruited and are currently training a strong team of incredible leaders who will guide our volunteers on their OA programs to Peru and Kenya this June/July. Allow me to introduce you to these three amazing and inspiring individuals!
- Ann Shuttleworth, Child Sponsorship Coordinator (Kenya)
I had heard about the amazing programs of WYI several years ago and now that I've retired from a long career in the Public Sector I am able to dedicate some time (Thursdays) to supporting WYI in 'making a difference' both overseas and locally. I'm very excited to take up the role of coordinating the sponsorship of approximately 30 children in Kenya, together with their generous sponsors from around Australia, and the Mango Tree Program in Kenya.
I'm Mum to 2 daughters, Nanny to 2 grandsons and wife of Glen for 42 years, plus 'carer' for a diverse range of pets over the years. If we talk/meet, I'm happy to tell you more!
On a more serious note I have qualifications in management and training and development, and past Board experience. Some of my most valuable life-experiences have come through overseas travel to Africa, India, China, Vietnam, Europe, the USA etc, giving me insights into other cultures - especially the poverty and disadvantage, as well as the generosity and love of life I've seen wherever we go.
My thanks to Deb Hoey for providing me with a great handover of the role that she's filled passionately and efficiently for the past 8 years, and for the generous welcome from Adam and the team.
I'm looking forward to learning lots and being part of the very passionate team at WYI!
Apply before June 30 2013 and save $200 off your program fee!
WYI is excited to announce an awesome new earlybird special for those applying for one of its overseas programs in Kenya, Nepal or Peru. Thanks to a deal we have with our good friends at STA Travel, WYI is offering a $200 discount on all of our international program fees to anyone who applies for a program between April 15 and June 30, 2013.
Places are strictly limited and the offer will only be available for a limited time. Take advantage and apply today!