SKWID
July 18, 2010

I’m posting from the VSO training centre, Harborne Hall, near Birmingham. I arrived yesterday lunchtime and spent four hours on health and security issues when working in the developing world –  everything from road safety and precautions against mugging through to protection  against rabies, malaria, yellow fever and of course HIV Aids.      

Yesterday evening  we embarked on the SKWID course (9.00pm finish!). This is nothing to do with Paul the octopus but Skills and Knowledge for Working In Development!

The programme is very interactive with lots of  games, role play and small group problem solving exercises. The delivery has been very pacey and is set to continue in this manner through to Tuesday lunchtime when we are released! The instructors are all returned volunteers who are able to personalise the VSO script with their various  experiences in the field, which is very useful.       

There are 18 course members, with a 12/6 female – male split, from a range of backgrounds but predominantly education and health. I have met a volunteer who will be going out to Rwanda at the same time as me but she will be about 50km from my placement and is staying for a year. Her role will be as a teacher advisor, hopefully impacting on curriculum delivery, whereas mine will be to build management capacity. However there is enough common ground for us to be able to share ideas.

We’ve just had sunday lunch – quiche and chips – and the afternoon session is beckoning. We go through to 8.00pm this evening and then hopefully we’ll be let out for good behaviour to visit The Bell  for Quiz Night!. Last time I was here for training, back in February, our  VSO team won the gallon of beer prize which rather upset the regulars!      

Ok, time to reconvene and hone my  skills for developing participation techniques in decision-making and action planning!