Hello everyone and welcome to my blog, which I’ve created to document all my adventures in 2012. I’ve taken a sabbatical year off from my job as a social worker at Brent Council to see the world!
My first stop will be Bamako in Mali, West Africa, where I’ll spend the first three months of the year volunteering with International Citizen Service. This is an initiative set up by the Department for International Development, where six UK-based international development agencies send groups of young British people to volunteer abroad with a wide variety of community development organisations and NGOs.
I will be volunteering as a Team Leader for International Service. Initially I will be leading a group of young British volunteers living with disabilities, who were recruited by The Children’s Society; they will be in Bamako for three weeks. During this time they will be aiming to share experiences with their Malian counterparts and to contribute to the promotion of the rights of people living with disabilities in Mali.
After that, I will be working with another group of British volunteers carrying out research and development activities for the Malian organisation which is “hosting” the placement: FEMAPH (Malian Federation of Disabled People’s Associations).
After a brief spell back in the UK to catch up with everyone, I will be off on my travels again in May for a round-the-world voyage. I will be visiting friends and family in various fun locations but also going to a few places that have been on my to-do list for a while. The exact itinerary is (still!) subject to change, but the current planned route is UK-USA-Fiji-New Zealand-Australia-India-UK.
I’ll try to post on this blog regularly to keep everyone up-to-date with where I’m at and what I’m up to. Please do feel free to post your comments and thoughts too!
I would like to thank Michael Panse for his fabulous photo currently being used as the header pic. (The header pic is in fact a detail from Michael’s photo which I believe is of an artwork on display in Bamako). Michael makes his work available under a Creative Commons licence so others, like me, can re-use it subject to certain conditions. And thank you to my dad for teaching me how to blog!