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Fredskorpset Exchange Provides Unique Learning Opportunity

GRID-Arendal recently completed its third round of the Fredskorpset (FK-Norway) professional exchange programme. The programme helps to strengthen GRID-Arendal’s partnerships in Africa and to identify new areas of focus for future work. Most importantly, it allows GRID-Arendal and its partner organizations to acquire new skills and expertise. Here, our southern participants have shared their experiences in their own words.

Read about the experiences of GRID-Arendal’s Rannveig Formo and Bernardas Padegimas here.


Sahon poses at her desk (photo: Sahon Flan)

“I [worked] on projects such as the third Africa Environment Outlook report… providing research support on specific chapters of the reports and daily updating the Africa EarthWire website with relevant environmental stories…. In collaboration with Joel, we carried out a project entitled ‘Creating Youth Awareness on Global Environmental Issues through GRID-Arendal publications and media tools’…. During the implementation of the project, we visited three schools, and held interactive lessons on climate change with a total of about 180 pupils. [The] response and feedback received from pupils and teachers were positive.”
Sahon Flan, NESDA Côte d’Ivoire (placed with GRID-Arendal)


Neto (right) and NEMA's GIS expert Firipo Mpabulungi (left) pose in the field
(photo: Rannveig Formo)

“I acquired knowledge and skills in writing of state of the environment reports and developing sensitivity atlases. I also took part in the finalisation of the Albertine Graben Environment Monitoring Plan which was published during the period of exchange.... [Through] working closely with the GIS and Remote Sensing Officer, I am proud to say that I am now able to use ArcGIS 10 for geo-referencing and creating maps and graphics. I also leant how to apply GIS [to develop] disaster vulnerability and risk maps. [Now back at home,] I am using the research and writing skills gained during the exchange in writing southern Africa News articles. In addition, I am facilitating meetings with other stakeholders interested in GIS. New joint projects related to GIS are expected to be carried out once funding has been sourced.”
Neto Nengomasha, SARDC Zimbabwe (placed with NEMA)


Joel learning how to ski (photo: Rannveig Nilsen)

“Things that I learned while on FK exchange:

  • How to be a team player;
  • The importance of regular meetings and making sure that tasks are finished on schedule;
  • Communication is key for every task that you are working on;
  • How to write proposals and budgets;
  • How to be independent;
  • A new language, culture, new ways of thinking and doing things;
  • How to ski;
  • How to use my talents to make a positive impact in the world.

I am using the research and writing skills I gained to contribute to the drafting up of the Zambia Atlas our organization is developing together with GRID-Arendal. The experience [at GA] in terms of IT, opened my eyes to new ways of handling computer backups and other IT related issues, which I am adopting here at home. Also, I am doing a lot of photography now and this will contribute to better images for future publications.”
Joel Sangulukani Simwinga, ZEMA Zambia (placed with GRID-Arendal)


Neto (left), Rannveig (centre), Proscovia (right) visit Oslo city-centre (photo: Rannveig Formo)

“I learnt how to write proposals or concept notes through frequent contribution and review of funding proposals.  This came with knowledge in lobbying and capacity building skills.  I also built my confidence and improved my time management skills.  Communication skills cannot go unmentioned due to the opportunity given to chair the weekly departmental meetings….  [My] skills and knowledge in resource mobilization, dealing with differences, multi-tasking and writing are being utilized in the different activities at NEMA….  My superiors count on me to carry out assignments without supervision [and have] noted a difference in the way I write, speak and communicate which has enhanced my opportunities at the organization. I can now be sent to represent my organization at different levels. I have [also] been nominated to participant in the atlas for the Murchison Falls National Park, coordinated by Uganda Wildlife Authority.”  
                                                                                       Proscovia Khanzila, NEMA Uganda, (placed with SARDC)


GRID-Arendal's Bernardas Padegimas (centre) conducting interviews the survivors of a recent landslide in Sironko district, Eastern Uganda
(photo: Bernardas Padegimas)
  GRID-Arendal's Rannveig Formo (centre) conducting interviews with park rangers in Mount Elgon National Park, Eastern Uganda
(photo: Rannveig Formo)


Monday 03 Dec 2012
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