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Volunteering in Rwanda : ‘Giving and receiving’

26 April 2019

EU Aid Volunteer Karelle Bassole reports from Kigali where she has spent over two months with Trócaire’s local team.

Rwanda Volunteering Trociare

EU Aid Volunteer Karelle Bassole working with Trócaire partner staff. Photo : Trócaire.

I have now been deployed for almost two months, working with Trócaire’s team in Rwanda. Since I have been in Rwanda, I have been supporting the team with different activities related to agricultural projects and communication. I have also participated in training (i.e. Proposal and success stories writing), events (i.e. Localisation study launch) and capacity assessments of partners.

On 12 March 2019, while collecting success stories about USAID project “Enhancing Participatory Governance and Accountability Activity” implemented in Rwanda in partnership with Trócaire and local organizations (CEJP, RDO, and UNICOOPAGI), I  conducted a one-to-one training with a member of one of the local organization implementing the USAID project.

The training consisted of giving guidelines on how to collect information / conduct interviews in order to write success stories, and I have also learnt some tips on citation. This was fully a “giving and receiving” experience.

Karelle with the Trócaire team in Rwanda celebrating St. Patrick's Day last month. Photo: Aine O'Driscoll / Trócaire

I am currently supporting writing up the success story, which will be part of the report that Trócaire will send to USAID  at the end of April.  Having the confidence to write success stories will enable the organisation to improve its visibility because success stories are a great means of sharing the impact made by projects and organisations on the lives of the communities with which they work. Such impact reflects the expertise of organisations in addressing issues faced by communities through implementing projects.

During the localization study launch by Trócaire and Caritas Rwanda, one of the key points – not to cite all of them – raised by the audience about localization was “strong partnership”. To have this, the following are essential:

  • information sharing,
  • mutual respect,
  • involvement in decision-making process,
  • and commitment from both sides to serve the community in need. 

I kept these in mind when I went to the field to collect information for writing success stories. I was amazed to see that those four essential components are driving the partner relationship between Trócaire and its beneficiaries, and that programme participant’s happiness reflects this strong partnership.  

Trócaire is definitely working toward the commitment of the Grand Bargain.

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