I meant to add this last week but i was very busy… At least thats my story.
So from the 26th to the 1st July I was in North London (Chingford) for the EWB-UK Pre-departure course. I never really knew what to expect from this or what would really happen, but it turned out great!
The week was spent in a lodge in Gillwell Park, which is a massive scout park in Chingford. Most days were 9am-9pm and involved lots of different sessions covering lots of interesting subjects and leaves you feeling very enlightened afterwards. We had sessions on Sustainable development, EWB it’self, conflict resolution (Which involved me being decked by Abi), personal security, health and safety, first aid, project management and problem solving… There is more, and there was a lot of things about our particular placements that were covered. Some of the sessions got a bit lecturey, but most involved more entertaining elements. The speakers that came to talk to us were all excellent.
So if you are a future EWB-UK Placement volunteer and wondering what the pre-departure course involves then I would say, a fair bit of work, brain pain, and lots of fun. Oh and a few camp fires.
I also met all of the other volunteers, and past volunteers who were all great fun. There are 7 of us going to India this summer so we’ve agreed to meet up in Mumbai sometime over the next few months. Coincidentally, I booked the same flight as Abi and Sarah who are going out to Pune/Pabal for their placement, so I will be meeting them at the airport tomorrow and travelling to Pune with them.
Not long to go! Today I booked my flights and got the visa application ready (Kind of, lets hope so anyway). So my flight is the 12th July, though It’s from Manchester so i will be going down there on the 11th to stay in a Premier Inn… Which by the way, they also have in India. Though I don’t think “budget” translates very well into Indian as one night in there is about the same as my budget for a months accommodation.
I still have a lot to do be for the 12th. I am working on various things that are helping to fund my trip, whilst also trying to fit in time to do all of the planning/arranging for the trip it’self. On the 26th I’ll be in London at the EWB-UK training course for their summer placement people. I’m not quite sure what goes on there but I’ve been told it’s quite fun and I’m looking forward to meeting all of the other volunteers. I return on the 1st, then will probably have lots of work to get done before the 12th. I also have 3 more jabs to get on the 5th, which will bring my total amount of injections to 9. Hopefully they are worth it!
I’ve also been talking to a couple of volunteers who are already working at Shelter Associates right now, who have been very helpful. Without them I would probably be panicking a lot (more) about the trip.
I will return soon with some more interesting updates I hope… until then…
A couple of months ago I applied for a 3 month placement with Engineers Without Borders UK (http://www.ewb-uk.org/). EWB-UK run a bunch of placements each year aimed at students/young professionals, who carry out the placements for their partner organisations. Often these are charities or non-profits working in developing countries.
Shelter Associates is a NGO working in Pune, India comprising Architects, Social workers, GIS Experts and Community Workers. We work with the urban poor, particularly women in informal settlements to facilitate and provide technical support to, community-managed housing (slum rehabilitation) and infrastructure projects.
I will be working on a website/application that was started by previous EWB-UK placements, this includes a database of information gathered by researchers and improving the process of entering this data and also the display of this data.
The placement should start in early July, and there will also be a training week at the end of June where I will get to meet all of the other volunteers going on the various EWB-UK placements.
For now though It’s back to studying for exams and preparing everything for the placement, I will return soon with more blogstuff about it though…