An Update from the General Manager
- Adam Whitefield, General Manager of WYI
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Most of us here in the office managed to take some time off over this period, and I know I have personally come back from the break feeling refreshed and excited for a massive 2013.
As always there have been so many exciting things happening at WYI, and I cannot believe how fast the time flies in this role. Here's a bit of a snapshot of some of the key achievements this past few months:
- After a significant amount of work with the staff and WYI Board, I am pleased to announce we have a brand new Strategic Plan (2013 - 2014). This new plan is so critical for WYI as it maps out where we want to go as an organisation over the next couple of years, and importantly, how we intend to get there.
- The first Boardroom Breakfast in our series was a huge success. Pitched primarily towards HR professionals, we had about 7 influential business and community leaders in attendance. I'd like to thank Inta Sellick, Linda Jones and Jess Roberts for their assistance, and already the breakfast has opened up some exciting new networks and possibilities for WYI.
- WYI has been working with an amazing young Australian man by the name of Ryan Campbell who is aiming to break the world record for the youngest person to fly solo around the world. Ryan's campaign is called Teen World Flight and you can check out his website and facebook page. Ryan has nominated WYI as the partner charity for his mission. In recognition of Ryan and our founder, Robert Hoey, WYI is establishing the 'Dare 2 Dream' Scholarship Fund which is designed to provide young Australians who have shown dedication, perseverance and a commitment to helping their local communities, the opportunity to pursue their dreams of volunteering overseas. Our fundraising target for this campaign is $50,000 which would allow for approximately ten scholarships (two per region). General funds raised will also be used to create the Robert Hoey and Ryan Campbell Scholarships in honour of our founder and of Ryan in support of his campaign.
- In late November 2012, I invited leading Adelaide law firm Andreyev Doman to facilitate a Risk Management Workshop with our Board and staff. The workshop was extremely valuable for all involved, and we are now developing a set of matrices, templates and action plans to ensure that we as an organistion can appropriately identify and mitigate risks in a comprehensive manner.
- I am also pleased to announce that one of our most exciting projects - a world first water prism filtration unit - has now been fully constructed in Odede, Kenya. Led by the incredible Ben Moffat, he and the team on the ground have worked around the clock to get the unit finished and operational. Despite some early challenges and now some minor technical modifications required, we are confident that this device could not only significantly change the lives of the people in Odede and beyond, but there are huge possibilities for WYI as well. Watch this space.
- The brand new Odede Community Hospital is one step closer to opening which is super exciting. We've had the amazing Celia Boyd on the ground in Kenya working with Fred and the Hospital team to prepare a detailed project plan and budget, and we currently have Simone O'Connor's OA group working on some last minute structural modifications in preparation for our inaugural Nurses in Action (NIA) program heading over in March. Exciting times!
- Also in Kenya, WYI has been working with our friends in the village of Asembo in the establishing a brand new goat breeding project. The project has started extremely well, and already there is some real excitement and ownership within the community around the project.
- We had two feature articles in Adelaide's Sunday Mail recently, one featuring the women from our Safari of the Soul program, and the other from one of our past OSP participants, Veronika Tammeova who has recently married Adelaide Crows AFL coach Brenton Sanderson. Already the articles have generated some real interest in WYI and even some program applications which is fantastic.
- The WYI Facebook Page has now tipped 680 likes and is steadily growing by the day.
- I also have a brand new Twitter page and have somehow persuaded 125 people to follow me. Jump on board for regular WYI updates and hopefully the odd thought provoking post!
- By the end of Christmas 2012, our brand new Gift Catalogue had raised over $10,000 for WYI supported projects across the world. This is a really amazing effort, and I would like to acknowledge Lyn Pettman, Simone Linehan and Kelsie Simmons for their help in making the catalogue such a success. I am confident that we can make it even bigger in 2013, so if anyone's keen to help distribute amongst their friends, schools, workplaces etc, let me know!
Thanks to everyone for their support over the past 6 months. This next quarter is shaping up to be one of the biggest yet for WYI, and I am confident we are up to the challenge.
Wishing you all much health and happiness in 2013.
Nurses in Action... the countdown is on!
- Kate Breuer, Nurses in Action Program Coordinator
The inaugural Nurses in Action programs are about to kick off and the groups are gearing up for their adventures!
We have 22 participants heading over to Western Kenya to work at the Mama Ann's Health Clinic in Odede throughout March and April. Participants will be supported by Team Leader, Katy Condliffe and Assistant Team Leader, Linsie Davies, and will be working with local staff at the clinic as well as carrying out individual projects in surrounding areas.
The most exciting aspect of work for our teams of nurses and allied health professionals will be the support, skills and knowledge they bring to the new health clinic in Odede, which will officially open soon. We have a range of professionals skilled in a number of different nursing specialisations, as well as some midwives and a social worker. We have no doubt that the expertise these professionals bring to the clinic will be of great use and will add great value to the health clinic.
Each group will also hold a medical camp during their program in a remote area with no access to health facilities. In partnership with local medical staff, the groups will take medical supplies to the chosen location and will supply community members with free medical consultations, wound care and medication, as well as follow up care at a later date. WYI has been running medical camps in Kenya for a number of years and are always successful, providing care to hundreds of people in one day!
Participants will also have individual projects to carry out during their month-long adventure, such as providing training for local health groups and community members, or taking part in a home-visiting program for people who are unable to attend the clinic.
This is a very exciting time for WYI and the participants of the Nurses in Action program. Watch this space for news of their achievements to come!
OAP Program Success
- Alice Johnson, Overseas Action Program Coordinator
Our November Overseas Action Programs to Nepal and Kenya are mere weeks away from completion!
Simone O'Connor and Anthea Fraser have been doing an excellent job as the leaders of our OAP in Kenya. They were based at Apuoyo Mixed Secondary School for five weeks during November and December 2012, where they led a small team of six women to build a sturdy new kitchen for the school. The group worked hard together and the final outcome was simply excellent. One member of the team, Harriette Boydell, even contributed some hard-earned fundraising money to purchase a highly efficient eco-kitchen system for the building. The new system recycles heat, expels smoke from the building via a chimney and requires much less firewood to run. It was an excellent addition to the project and we are very appreciative to Harriette for the generous contribution.
Simone and Anthea are now leading a much larger group of thirteen people to complete a variety of projects for WYI's new health clinic in Odede. The group is building a set of drop-pit toilets at the moment, and will paint and partition several walls in an existing building. By completing these tasks, the clinic will be one step closer to becoming a fully-functioning health facility in the next couple of months. The enthusiastic team has also committed to building 50 desks and chairs for local Ochiang'a Primary School, in an effort to help the school expand and become a secondary school.
In Nepal, Daniel Toole and Isabella Verhoeven have also been doing a stellar job with their OA team. They were based in the small farming community of Maaitar during November and December 2012, where they constructed a 160,000L irrigation tank. The tank will dramatically improve the lives of the local community as the fertile potential of more than 127km2 of land can now be harnessed and cultivated all year round, not simply during the wet season. The team had a wonderful time living in Maaitar and bonding with their host families, and were very sad to leave at the end of the project.
Five new volunteers joined the group at the beginning of January, and the team is now in the process of building and fitting out two new classrooms for Kalika Lower Secondary School in the village of Halade. The project is large and physically demanding but progressing very well. These additional classrooms will provide 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. The team has settled into the new village very well and currently enjoy a daily view of the Himalayas from their worksite. We look forward to seeing the final outcome of their hard work in a couple of weeks' time!
Our hearty congratulations go out to all of our participants and Team Leaders for their magnificent achievements in Nepal and Kenya so far! We are very proud of their hard work, dedication and passion for helping others.
We now eagerly anticipate our next round of OA programs in Nepal, which are scheduled to commence on March 12 under the leadership of Ainslee Wight and Katrina Pedler. More details about this program to come in the next newsletter.
Click here to hear about the November Kenya OAP team's adventure in Apuoyo.
OSP in Nepal
- Simone Linehan, Nepal OSP Volunteer
In November 2012 I left my two gorgeous teenage boys and supportive husband for five weeks. I left my children to be with 40 other children. 40 children I'd never met, that didn't have iPhones or laptops, play computer games, complain about what was on their plate or the fact that they only had one broken plastic shoe to wear or headlice every day. What they did have were big beautiful smiles on their faces and fun and love in their hearts. I met 40 children that touched my heart and soul in a way that I find difficult to explain.... but I will try.
These children, in one of countless Nepalese children's homes, have become my extended family. I don't know if I will ever see this family again but as soon as I met them all I could think was, I have so much and they have so little, how can I make this divide less great? How can I make their life more comfortable?
It was hard to not feel sad and then as if I was judging their way of life, comparing it to what I was used to. Was my life so much better than theirs? Or did they have a more peaceful journey ahead? I don't know the answer to my question but it opened my eyes and made me realise first hand how much of a minority we are in western culture.
I feel that if we have the means, and I do believe most westerners have the means at some point in our lives, we have a responsibility to share what we have with those less fortunate.
We have a responsibility to care for all children in the world not just those in our homes and on the land we inhabit. We could have been born anywhere on the planet but we had the gift of being born into a country where most of us have plenty to eat, clothes to wear, a roof over our heads, and as many choices in life as we can think of.
As a 40 year old Australian woman and mother I choose to share my luck with those who miss out on basic human rights, who miss out on food, who miss out on shelter and sometimes even love. No child, no human, should go through life not feeling loved, whether it be through healthcare, food, clothing, shelter, education, physical or emotional support.
Thank you to World Youth International for this amazing life changing experience.
I thank the universe for helping me see clearly and giving me the energy to follow through on my new journey that now lies ahead of me.
Introducing the WYI Interns
- Adriana and Nick, Marketing Interns
Let's have a look through the eyes of a prospective volunteer. An excited school leaver, perhaps someone seeking an escape from the daily grind.
What sets WYI apart from volunteering agencies?
- 21 years of history
- South Australian roots
- An amazing track record
As marketing interns in the WYI office, we are discovering that it is all of these things and more.
Our role is to determine where WYI sits in the market for volunteering programs by preparing reports of competitors and current operations. Throughout our work with WYI, the overarching theme is thinking about what differentiates WYI from other organisations in the market, and thinking of ways to bring these to light!
From our growing understanding of this evolving organisation, we have also assisted in the design of new marketing material and have helped create changes to the WYI website and social media practices.
This internship has been beyond work experience, but an opportunity to help a great local organisation. Many thanks to the WYI team for their support of our work so far, and for their infectious energy and enthusiasm for creating positive change. :-)
- Madeline Shearer, Development Intern
My name's Maddy and I'm currently completing a Development internship with World Youth. After finishing my International Studies and a Diploma in Spanish at Adelaide Uni I went on to do my Masters in Development Studies at the University of Melbourne. In 2010, after graduating, I spent most of the year overseas, including four months working with a small community development organisation in Ecuador. Since returning to Adelaide I've been working here as coordinator of the Adelaide Uni's Indigenous Oral Health Unit.
My internship incorporates a few different elements - at present I'm working on a document to guide our approach to partnerships, focusing particularly on working with local organisations overseas. This has involved researching diffferent partnering procedures, as well as improving my understanding of World Youth's goals and priorities. It will absolutely be a living document that will continue to improve as we learn more about partnering in practice - Celia in Kenya will be the first one to try it out, and then later in the year I'll be looking further into partnerships in Peru.
The major goal of my internship will be to come up with a WYI Development Strategy, in collaboration with Adam. Our objective is to create a strategy geared towards clarifying how we want to do development - the sectors we wish to work in, how we can best contribute to AusAid's goals, and how to link in to development plans at the local level. We want to have the biggest impact possible with the resources we have available, and this necessitates a targeted, strategic approach, always keeping in mind the need for sustainability and community involvement. Of course the volunteer experience is very important here too.
I'm really excited to get back into the development sector, and to continue learning about it. I feel that in addition to re-familiarising myself with the world of development, I'm learning a lot about organisational structure and procedures and all the different elements that combine to make an NGO work smoothly and effectively. I'm also, of course, very excited about leading an OAP and then following up on partnerships in Peru!
Spread the Word... WYI's new STA Travel Deal!
- Adam Whitefield, General Manager of WYI
It is with great pleasure that I'd like to announce an exciting new promotional campaign we've got going here at WYI.
In partnership with our good friends at STA Travel, for every confirmed application we receive that mentions your name as a referral and quotes the unique promotional code - WORLD12345 - WYI will send you a $100 STA Travel voucher.
Read more here...
Every so often you come across something that takes your breath away. Buy1GIVE1 (better known around the world as B1G1) is one of those things.
And like many great ideas, it all started from a simple thought - 'what if every business transaction could give back in a meaningful, authentic, measurable way? If we could find a way of making that happen, we could create a happier world.'
Masami Sato had precisely that thought in 2007 and she set about making it happen. So now B1G1 has nearly 1000 businesses around the world who use the B1G1 platform to give back AND build their businesses simultaneously.
Fortunately for us, B1G1 Chairman Paul Dunn LOVES WYI, particularly the goat project we started in Odede - so now when Paul speaks around the world, he is forever talking about how people like Accountants in the UK (just as one example) give a goat every time they create a new client.
"It's one of those 'quirky' giving stories that people just love hearing about," says Paul.
And it's stories like that that have helped B1G1 become a major supporter of WYI. All told now, B1G1 has created a staggering 21,300,000 giving impacts around the world.
You can find out more about the amazing work B1G1 does right here.