About My Placement

Here’s a section that will paint a picture of my work over the summer. Yes, despite volunteering this summer and receiving $0 in income (except for a small stipend to keep me alive and well), I still do consider this to be a full time job. I received information about my placement about 2 days after my 23rd birthday. What an awesome birthday present, to finally figure out what you’ll actually be doing for 4 months this summer. (yay!)

So, here is the JF Malawi 2007 mission:

Malawi is still a large unknown to EWB and EWB to Malawi. This year, through the JF program, EWB is partnering with 6 brand-new partners in Malawi and this is a brilliant opportunity for the JFs to help EWB learn what is going on in the agriculture, food processing, and water and sanitation sectors in Malawi. This summer, Team Malawi, with the support of the DSAP (Director of Southern Africa Programs, David Damberger), JFSS (Junior Fellow Support Staff, Paul Slomp) and amazing OVS (Overseas Volunteer) coaches, is going to put Malawi on the EWB map!

Your Host Organisation

During the overseas component of your Junior Fellowship, you will be working with Total Land Care (TLC).

TLC is working to increase production and income levels of small-scale Malawi farmers through improved agricultural practices with sustained conservation and management of the natural resource base. It has extensive experience in implementing community-based agricultural and natural resource management programmes in Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique.

Major strengths are the: provision of technical support services in the form of community mobilization and empowerment; preparation of training and extension materials; training to extension staff and farmers and implementation of community-based systems of monitoring and evaluation tailored to location-specific needs. TLC has evaluated the efficiency and durability of different treadle pump models available in Malawi and has become the leader in the introduction and technical standard setting for treadle pumps in Malawi.

Your Placement

Specifically, you will be based in Mwansambo in Mwansambo District, Central Region, where you will be working with TLC on the monitoring and evaluation component of their agriculture and micro-irrigation projects. Although English is the official language, people in this region generally come from the Tumbuka tribe and speak Chitumbuka and Chichewa.

The Match

1) This placement is going to be in quite a rural place, but you will be working along side some of the best agriculture extension officers that Malawi has to offer – an experience that I think you are looking for.

2) This placement, since it is mainly focussed on Monitoring and Evaluation, requires someone who is thorough – something that I know you are good at.

3) This placement is going to be a little bit challenging because you will be working on this placement over during the EWB OVS transition period. This means that Trina Wushke, who is working with TLC at the moment, is going to be phasing out about 6 weeks after your arrival, and another EWB person will arrive about 6 weeks before the end of your placement. You will be working with both of them to ensure a smooth transition.

More Information
After calling Trina about a week ago, I received more specifics about my placement. My main question was..”monitoring and evaulating…what?” So Trina enlightened me on some specifics (If you know me, you know ambiguity may or may not drive me up the wall)

1. I’ll be monitoring and assessing the impacts of TLC’s activities and working closely with 3 field coordinators to help identify some opportunities and challenges

2. I’ll be learning best practices on loan repayments for Treadle pumps

3. I’ll be helping survey the Chia Lagoon Watershed project

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