Monday, October 14, 2013

Project Planning Week

Week 2- The ISE Team learn about their project and partner organisation and meet key members of the team before setting down a plan for the coming 10 weeks.


“We don’t need no education (musical interlude)…so leave us kids alone”

Another Brick in the Wall - Pink Floyd


I think it is fair to say that this week have been both interesting and challenging, our team (Inclusive Sports Education) and our sister team (Research Team) have been spending every day together learning about the objectives of our joint project and hearing about the progress made by the previous cohort. So, now it’s time to test my knowledge and try to inform all you lovely readers exactly what is it we are hoping to achieve and why…

            Our partner is the National Paralympic Committee, it was established in 2009 by the Government Sports Ministry but with little support available in terms of material and funding they have been unable to support disabled athletes to the extent they would have wished to, oftentimes resulting in their athletes being unable to participate in international competitions. Following the 2012 Paralympic Games in London where only 2 athletes represented Burkina Faso, the drive of the committee now with the help of the International Service volunteers is to build their capacity to support more disabled athletes thereby giving them the chance to attend Rio 2016. (Phew…I can take a breath now, I think that’s all the essentials covered.)

            We are only the second cohort to work with the committee and the idea is that the 2 teams have clear objectives which though distinct work cohesively together to achieve our aims. The ‘Research Team’ is working to collect data about the number of and resources available to the affiliated disability clubs in Burkina and to source funding for the committee. Whilst we are working to improve the inclusion and well being of people with disabilities by; endorsing the rights of the disabled, delivering coaching sessions to a number of clubs and by promoting the practise of inclusive sport amongst both able-bodied person and those living with a disability.

            Following the educative section of our project specific induction, it was time for us to sit down as a team and establish the means by which we hoped to achieve our objectives over the next 10 weeks. We laid down an ambitious plan of coaching sessions, case studies and inclusive sports raising awareness talks to name just a few, the realisation of which I hope you will see mapped out on this blog over the coming weeks but for now I think it’s time for you to meet the team…


(For those of you old enough to remember Cilla Blacks ‘Blind Date’, it would please me if you could imagine the following section delivered in her voice)


Meet the Team


            First off we have Andrew Benton, come on down… Andrew is 21, he is a British National who currently lives with his family in Geneva, Switzerland and he has recently completed his BSc in Biological Sciences at the University of Warwick. He applied to the International Service ICS scheme because a friend of his had taken advantage of the programme and recommended the experience; he wanted to come to Burkina to have the chance to see development in action. He is most looking forward to helping people with disabilities in Burkina gain better access to sports and sports education.

Random fun facts about Andrew- he is a French speaker who has had experience coaching young people, he enjoys singing out of tune and LOUDLY, in his free time he likes to ski, sail and scuba dive and he is the first to admit that he likes to joke around (some might say a little too much).

           Next we have Zahra Dalilah John, she is 23 and lives in South East London and has achieved a French and International Relations degree at the University of Leeds. The ICS scheme appealed to this particular avid traveller as a chance to practise her French and she also studied African Politics as part of her course so this placement affords her the unique opportunity to work with the committee and see theory and practise come together. (Zahra wants me to say she is MORE than these statistics!!)

Random fun facts about Zahra- she enjoys Samba dancing, reading poetry and watching films with Kevin Spacey in them (but she does watch other films as well). At our pre-departure training we undertook a test to see what type of personalities we have, Zahra’s results confirmed her as sociable and caring but she has been contesting the outcome ever since. Oh and before I finish, did you know Zahra means ‘flower’ and Dalilah means ‘beautiful’??- No, well me neither but we both do now.

         The youngest member of our team in Summer Campbell, she is just 18 years old and has just attained her certificates in English and Coaching Multi-Sports at Notts County Community. Undertaking the ICS placement was actually part of the Notts County course and now that she is in Burkina Faso she is looking forward to using her coaching knowledge to work with both children and adults.

Random fun facts about Summer- in her free time she enjoys biking, going to see friends, wearing any merchandise that features Mickey Mouse. She has an eclectic taste in music but dislikes heavy metal and she works full-time for Anglian Home Improvements.
          Finally there is me, my name is Rebecca Taylor, I’m 22 and I’ve just graduated from the University of Sheffield with a degree in English Literature. I applied to the ICS programme because I am interested in pursuing a career in community development and having volunteered with grass-roots projects at home I was interested to see the similarities and differences when working abroad. I have worked previously as a mentor for young people aged 16-18 for a community and social development charity and my free time at University was mostly spent volunteering on a range of different projects. My voluntary experience has encompassed people with a range of disabilities and so I am really excited to be given the chance to develop my experience here in Burkina Faso.

Random fun fact about Becky- I visit London as often as I can ( I just love the atmosphere), last year I did a bungee jump to raise money for Christian Aid and this summer I travelled around some of Western Europe InterRailing, oh and I am a MASSIVE Harry Potter fan and I AM NOT ASHAMED OF IT!

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