Friday, March 5, 2010

Outward Bound

Now that I've finished posting about vacation (big kilo to Phil for the updates), I'd like to give a work update. I am officially a Programs Intern and work is great, but far less-organized and much more hectic. My current roles include:
  • Organizing programs and activities at the Football for Hope Centre. This entails lots of different things, including reaching out to local organizations, coordinating activities, overseeing the effectiveness of programs, etc. Lots and lots of work.
  • Setting up operational systems at the Football for Hope Centre. Along with setting the Centre up with internet and a phone line, I am working to secure the Centre with necessary equipment. Unfortunately, the Centre is not in a particularly safe area, so it is crucial that we have proper security installed before we move the entire Programs office to the Centre. One of the biggest problems with security in Khayelitsha (and South Africa in general), is that police rarely come when called. Therefore, GRS needs to work to build a strong relationship with SAPS (South African Police Services) and with the local community to deter crime.
  • Preparing for Girlz got Skillz, a week long cultural exchange taking place in April. On the final day of the exchange, there is a huge soccer tournament and carnival event at the Football for Hope Centre. I am in charge of organizing the carnival event, which entails bringing local organizations to the Centre to share information regarding their services. The event is targeting females in the community, so I'm mainly reaching out to rape crises centres, pregnancy clinics, domestic abuse organizations, and other female-focused groups.
  • Building relationships with partner organizations in Khayelitsha. This fits into all aspects of my Internship and I'm doing my best to connect GRS with other organizations via meetings, forums, and trainings.
  • Research. In my spare time, I've been working with the Research & Development team on several projects.
I spent February 24th-28th on an Outward Bound program with 25 coaches from Khayelitsha and one of my roomies. We split into two groups and I spent the five days with 12 coaches in the wilderness. We pitched tents every night, cooked our own food (pasta, rice, beans), hiked up and down a mountain, participated in team building activities, abseiled, and rock climbed. All in all, it was a really fun five days. I learned a bit of Xhosa (and made some very embarrassing errors...ask my mom for details), participated in fun activities, and, most importantly, really got to know 12 coaches.

The past two months have flown by with long hours of work, but I'm really enjoying my new role. Okay, gotta get back to work - will write more soon. Still accepting donations! Feel free to send them to my house:

Sarah Bell
2912 Brighton Road
Shaker Heights, OH

Or, if you'd prefer, click the "donate" button at the top right of this blog page and send them to my GRS account.


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