Our Environment teams in Malawi are turning their hand to something new. Ordinarily when the UK team are in Malawi they visit the projects and gather the majority of the photos and updates however, because of the pandemic, the UK team are grounded in England.
Keen to continue sharing news of the projects, some of our Environment project managers are getting the chance to take on the role of interviewing the communities they are working with, and they are loving it. They have received remote training from Nikki Luxford, our Corporate Partnerships Manager whose background is in journalism, and they have already been taking photographs and sending stories of those benefiting from projects including Tree Planting and Fuel-efficient Cookstoves.
The Malawian teams really enjoy working closely with the UK team in Malawi to assess and develop their project areas but despite the challenges this pandemic has brought us all, we are really excited that it has provided the team with this opportunity to develop their skills within a new area.
Nikki said, “Across all of our projects the various mangers and coordinators have seen us (UK team) ask questions to beneficiaries to find out how the project is helping and what challenges are being faced and overcome. This has helped during the training to ensure they feel confident taking on this new role and, despite us being thousands of miles away, social media platforms have been key in keeping us connected with our Malawian teams.
One of the reasons I love being in Malawi is having the opportunity to meet people and learn about their lives, and equally how their lives have changed because of Ripple Africa’s projects. Take the fuel-efficient cookstove project. Walking in to a village to be greeted by women singing and all eager to show of their well-maintained cookstoves is heart-warming. I am always armed with a pen and paper to jot down comments and stories that I hear such as learning that women value their cookstove so much because it saves them time collecting wood and they can now use that time to start a small business or have some time to socialise with friends. It is such a lovely message to be able to share.
To now know that our wonderful Environment teams in Malawi are fully embracing this opportunity to talk more with the project beneficiaries is brilliant. I love how enthusiastic they already are about writing – I have been inundated with short stories and photographs and cannot wait to share them with you.”