Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Cohort 10 reporting for duty

Hello to all our followers!

Well, October is here, and the time has come to welcome a new team of volunteers to HSB. Our UKVs have arrived safely and started to find their feet, our ICVs are catching us up on what happened in the previous cohort, and we’ve all benefitted from a full week of inductions and project visits in the last week. 

And now it’s time to get down to work!

HSB Cohort 10 hard at work for our first day of planning
But before we do, we're going to use this first post to introduce ourselves, and to talk about our expectations of the placement and our impressions from the first week. 

So here goes: introducing Cohort 10 at HSB...

Je me nomme Cédric ILBOUDO, volontaire national à International Service et en placement à Handicap Solidaire Burkina. Nous avons pris part à la semaine d’induction qui nous a permis d’améliorer nos connaissance sur le plan du travail en équipe, du handicap et du volontariat. Nous avons passé de bons moments en compagnie des volontaires britanniques de la nouvelle cohorte et j’espère que l’ambiance sera toujours aussi conviviale. Pour ce nouveaux placement, j’espère m’engagé d’avantage afin de plus apprendre de mes confrères mais aussi de mieux donner.

I am Cedric ILBOUDO, National volunteer at International Service working with Handicap Solidaire Burkina. We took part in the induction week which allowed us to improve our knowledge of teamwork, disability and volunteering. We had a great time with the new cohort of British volunteers and I hope the atmosphere will remain as friendly as it is now throughout the project. In this cohort, I hope I can learn from my colleagues whilst also teaching them.

My name is Melissa Hoban, I have just graduated from, the University of Edinburgh where I studied BSc Psychology, and now I am here, working for HSB in Burkina Faso! We have just finished a whirlwind week of introductions, where we met our national volunteers, learnt about our projects and the culture of Burkina Faso and practised our French. We also learnt some Mooré, which I have been trying out at the markets and with neighbours, which is often met with smiles and a lot of laughter (it appears French and Moorè still have a long way to go). After meeting the team at HSB and learning more about the variety of work they do I cannot wait to start work properly; designing our plan of action for the upcoming months is making me very excited for the work I will be doing.

My name is Olivia, an 18 year old volunteer from London. Upon arrival in Burkina, the tiredness generated from the vast length of travel was reconciled by the warm welcome given by the team leaders and Burkinabe people. The acceptance and happiness offered by the people of Burkina Faso allowed everyone to feel immediately included and at home despite the differing culture. The next few days consisted of practising French, learning Moorè, getting to know the hugely welcoming national volunteers and visiting our projects. Despite the inevitable challenge that the projects will offer, I’m looking forward to immersing myself into Ouaga and making a difference to those who need it most.

Tankoano Gnandieba
Volontaire à HSB depuis le mois de juillet 2014, je viens de commencer ma deuxième cohorte et j’espère vraiment que tout va bien se passer. Toute la semaine passée on était au palais de la jeunesse et de la culture JEAN PIERRE GUINGANE pour la semaine d’induction et on a bénéficié lors de cette semaine plusieurs formations pour nous aider a réussir notre placement. La semaine d’induction s’est terminée par la visite du site touristique LAONGO et l’association des femmes de ZINIARE dénommée KABEELA. Depuis ce matin, nous sommes dans nos lieux respectifs de placement et nous espérons de nouveaux une belle expérience. J’attends de cette cohorte la cohésion entre membres et la disponibilité de chacun à partager ce qu’il a et aussi ce qu’il connait avec les autres. Une cohorte qui va travailler pour atteindre le maximum d’objectifs.

I’ve been a volunteer at HSB since July 2014: I’ve just begun my second cohort and I really hope that everything will go well. All of last week we were at the Palais de la Jeunesse et de la Culture Jean Pierre Guingane for our Induction Week, and during that week we benefitted from lots of training to help us to do well on our placement. Induction week ended in a visit to Laongo, a cultural site, and to Kabeela, a women’s association in the town of Ziniare. Since this morning, we’ve all been at our respective projects and are hoping that this Cohort is just as good as the last one! My expectations of this Cohort are cohesion between the team, that each member is ready to share their knowledge and experience, and that we will work hard to achieve as much as we can.

And finally, I’m Caroline: the new Team Leader at HSB. I’ve been here for exactly a month now, learning from the previous cohort and Team Leader and preparing to get started on project work with my new team. Naturally I hope that we can get lots done to help HSB over the next 10 weeks, but I also want to make sure that we make a real effort as a team to learn from each other and to work towards greater cultural exchange and understanding. I’m really looking forward to our first Group Discussion later this week, when we’ll be able to start getting into the nitty-gritty of our differing expectations of the programme and of International Development in general!

From left to right: Cedric, Olivia, Melissa, Tankoano and Caroline
Well, that’s all of us. Look out for our next post later this week, when we’ll have finished our plan and will know much more about what the next 10 weeks will hold!

Team HSB

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