Although I have been coming backwards and forwards, for a week or so at a time, all year, it feels like a great relief to be back without the DRC project in the back of my mind.
Without going into too much detail, my year in the Congo has reconfirmed my confidence that EducAid does quite a good job at getting the balance right on quality of input, value for money, respect for beneficiaries and genuine capacity building. Apparently harder than you would think.
In truth, there is a mountain of work to do against a fairly tough background but it goes a long way to making it more exciting than daunting, to know that we are almost certain to continue making a significant positive impact on individuals' poverty. Even more exciting, with the new teacher training and resource centres in Rolal and Maronka, we expect to make a difference to whole communities as we reach out to schools in rural areas that are almost untouched by all the other NGO activities and workshops.
The leadership team have done a wonderful job at keeping things moving forwards and I am really looking forward to getting alongside them again as we bring a number of new projects online: chief among them the Girls' Safe House and the 2 new teacher training and resource centres. It will be good to be living in Maronka too.
If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable Sierra Leoneans, please go to www.educaid.org.uk and www.sierraleonegirls.blogspot.com