Thursday, 3 February 2011

Rollercoasters and brand new projects - 21st Jan 2010

I’m job hunting at the moment and that is leading to me feeling a bit like I’m strapped in to a rollercoaster. I generally think change is something to be thankful for but going up and down, up and down all week long and never really being sure what is coming next can be extremely tiring! It is into this crazy scenario that this week’s events came. The highlight of the week by far was a visit to the Tearfund head offices in Teddington.  I haven’t been there in about five years, since I did my gap year with Teafund, but I’ve supported them, in one way or another, since then.  One of the off shoots of my recent short story collection, which raised funds for Tearfund, was being asked to get involved in a new project. So on Wednesday I found myself trotting along to hear a little bit more about what they had in mind.

The wonderful thing about Tearfund is that you are always greeted by smiley people. I think that comes with spending your days focusing on those that are less fortunate than yourself, you become grateful and so happy by default!  I was due to meet with the Country director of the Mekong Sub Region who had been looking for someone to help him with some writing tasks to promote the region and through a number of different people, he found me.  I’m pretty glad he did because it’s an exciting project. The essence of it is promoting the excellent work of Tearfund partners in the region through written communications (articles, blogs etc) and we had a great time brainstorming what those might include.

I also heard a lot from the Country director about what the partners are up to and it was pretty eye opening; people travelling across borders in a desperate search for work, uprooting their whole families and making themselves vulnerable in the process. The list of issues in the region are intense -  drug smuggling, child trafficking, HIV/AIDS. I never leave Tearfund without a profound sense of how lucky I am and a fresh commitment to do what I can to help the partners who give up comfort, security and a huge amount of time to support people in unimaginable conditions. It puts my little job hunt into a stark light. I’m worried about a commute, not about migrating my whole family across borders!

I’m really looking forward to getting to know the partners better and helping them to make their stories heard. It’s exciting for me to be branching out (or rather back into!) non-fiction writing and to promote the kind of work that I love the most. I shall keep you posted on any articles etc as they arise and, of course, my own little rollercoaster ride -  you lucky thing!

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