Leadership In Action Project Reflection

Leadership In Action Project Reflection
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Looking back on my experience as a Laidlaw Scholar, I wanted to recount my Leadership In Action project as a Fundraising and Grant Writing Intern at Child.org. Child.org is a charity based in Bristol and Nairobi which specialises on providing pregnant women, new mothers, communities and governments life-saving antenatal and postnatal healthcare services. They advocate for quality care so that mothers and their children stay safe, alive and healthy in Kenya. I interned for Child.org from June till early August 2022 and it was my first time having a fulltime job, let alone a remote one but one thing I will always be grateful for is how the team at Child.org supported, uplifted me throughout my LIA.

At the beginning of the project, my main objectives were to fill out as many grant applications as possible and find new grants that the team would be eligible for and add it to their CRM. Not only did I achieve this, but I was also given the opportunity to go to Latitude Festival and act as Volunteer and Social Media manager. In this role, I helped the volunteers get checked in and set up our campsite, collect promotional photographs and video’s for the company’s social media pages and see some really cool artists perform on my breaks like Lil Simz. During my leadership in action project, I both reached and exceeded my expectations of myself and put myself in new and challenging situations.

Although, this was not always easy. As the team is based between Bristol, England and Nairobi, Kenya we often had to work from home, using zoom meetings and slack as our main form of communication. At the beginning, I struggled to manage my work independently and speak up in team meetings. This was primarily due to being the youngest person in the team and working on something as important as getting funding for a charity was a lot of pressure for my 18-year old self to deal with. Despite my imposter syndrome and self-doubt, the team in both Kenya and the UK constantly reassured me and supported me throughout difficult tasks. They also taught me about the planning and implementation of a large charity project which I had never experienced. All of which was not only educational but empowering to be taught and supported by a team of kind and accomplished women.

Therefore, my leadership in action project was not only educational for my career but also demonstrated to me the type of team I would like to work with in my future job after graduation. I think that Child.org is the golden standard for an organisation that to work with communities in overcoming their unique challenges. The communication and collaboration between the UK-based team and the Kenyan team is admirable as every interaction was filled with respect and a willingness to listen and learn from one another. They proudly demonstrate leadership abilities, self-knowledge and awareness; effective communication; critical and creative thinking alongside all the leadership attributes we aspire to mature over our program. So, my leadership in action project was a living reminder of the attributes I aspire to demonstrate as a future leader.

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