Sunday, March 16, 2008

world vision

I’m now four weeks into my job at World Vision Australia. I’ve spent a lot of time in workshops and training, which, being me, I really appreciate. The particular duties of my position (Administrative Coordinator for Corporate and Donor Relations) are satisfying in the way that a crossword puzzle or sudoku is satisfying: I get a nice sense of accomplishment for having completed a series of precise and detail-oriented tasks. At the end of the day, though, all I’ve really done is organize a bunch of letters and numbers into their boxes.

That’s ok with me for now, though, because I’m learning a lot about how World Vision works. This is incredibly valuable because World Vision is about 50% of the entire international aid and development sector in Australia. Given that I want to work in international development, this works well for my plans.

The on-the-job training is superior. So far I’ve had the opportunity to attend workshops on marketing, campaign planning, fair-trade chocolate, poverty and it’s causes, human trafficking (which includes human slavery but is broader than slavery alone), case studies of specific development projects, and a number others. World Vision is definitely the largest and most efficiently-run organization I’ve ever worked for. I find this funny because it’s an NGO. NGO’s do not have a reputation for size, efficiency, or professionalism.

It’s quite entertaining being a US national working in this field, I must say. The US comes up every day in one way or another, in reference to a variety of things both good and bad – frequently both at the same time. Apparently the US puts out an annual report on human trafficking wherein we audit and rank countries according to how they’re doing at eliminating these exploitative practices. This information is undeniably helpful. At the same time it’s funny that the most prominent countries we don’t address in this study is – you guessed it – the US itself. We’re also the only country on earth that still hasn’t signed on to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

World Vision is providing an excellent introduction to international humanitarian aid, and I couldn’t be happier about that. The fact that I find this work so fascinating bodes well. I’m already looking forward to getting into it in more depth through future work and school.

1 comment:

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