My experience as Programmes Research Assistant at Children Change Colombia

Read our previous Programmes Research Assistant, Jade’s experience working at Children Change Colombia.

“I feel like there are so many amazing things I want to write about my time with Children Change Colombia that I can’t possibly find the words to explain it all!

As a starting point, I will say that one of the huge benefits of volunteering with Children Change Colombia is that I feel as though I have been an integral part of a small team making a real difference. Of the three projects I was assigned to do over the five month period, I saw real evidence of the information I collated, the research I was doing and the figures I found being put into actual use both on the website and in the new leaflet. This makes for a truly satisfying experience, and contributes to a real sense of achievement.

In addition, I have developed so many really employable skills. I have developed my research skills, fine-tuned my Spanish reading ability, got stuck in to end of year reports and been exposed to how the organisation runs as a whole. I was invited and encouraged to attend weekly team meetings, I witnessed how the newsletter is put together and saw the planning that goes into putting on a variety of events which I was invited to attend. I was even fortunate enough to be volunteering when we had a visit from a Colombian project partner and attended an interesting discussion that they led. I now also have a much better understanding of how a charity works, and I have real experience of working in an office – something I had not done prior to this role.

The organisation, and especially the two managers responsible for me and my work, showed me consistent pastoral care and monitored my work closely. Whilst they allowed me to continue with my work independently, I knew that should I have any queries with what I was doing, or its impact on a wider scale, they would always be ready to give me a hand and point me in the right direction. At every opportunity I have been encouraged to express my opinions and share my ideas and have always felt motivated by everyone in the office.

From day one, I was made to feel like a member of the team and that my contributions were valid and valued. This is down to the extremely friendly attitude of all the staff and their positive approach to their work and the people that are involved with the organisation. I really genuinely cannot give the staff and volunteers enough praise for how welcome they have made me feel throughout my time here. Being a part of such a fantastic team has been one of many reasons why I have so enjoyed coming to the office every week.

I would have no hesitation encouraging anybody who wants to gain a real understanding of the charity sector to volunteer with Children Change Colombia. Having witnessed how the organisation works, seen the progressive and open nature of their work and been given the opportunity to contribute to such a fantastic organisation, I really believe their work to be hugely credible and that they are making a real difference to the lives of so many children.

Sadly, my time as Programmes Research Assistant has come to an end. Fortunately for me, and with huge thanks to Children Change Colombia and the skills that I have gained along the way, I am leaving to start a paid position in the charity sector – a big first step for me in my career and one of the reasons I initially began this internship.

I have no doubt that I will remain a part of Children Change Colombia and its community of wonderful fundraisers and volunteers through voluntary roles in a different context.  In fact, I have already committed to volunteering at an upcoming event, and look forward to watching the organisation grow and to continue supporting and endorsing the truly amazing work they do.”

 

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