I don’t have a lot of experience working with Civil Society Organisations; the closest I came to having any sort of experience with CSOs was four months at my dad’s church – I designed and implemented a short training programme for point persons in the church to provide more youth friendly services for the youth population of that church and neighbouring communities.
I have spent most of my professional life teaching and going to school.
So when I landed at J-FLAG all I had was several years of teaching experience and a few letters behind my name. Honestly, a part of me was doubtful about the impact I could have because it seemed like a world of work in a world that was largely unknown to me. But with much support and drive in the 16 months I have been there, I have learnt, done, and grown more than I ever did in my life prior to J-FLAG; well, with the exception of 2010 when I was teaching full time, enrolled part-time in a PGDip programme, and enrolled full time in an MSc programme (which I had to hide for the most part for policy reasons, shhhh).
I was able to learn, do, and grow exponentially in my time at J-FLAG also because of a sort of uncodified philosophy of the organisation: ‘we’ll show you the sea, we’ll dump you in there regardless of whether you can swim, but you gotta figure out the rest’. That’s kinda how the organisation works, which is why it tremendously builds the capacity of those who are largely intrinsically motivated and are passionate about their work.
I will be perpetually grateful to J-FLAG for its impact on my personal and professional development and I don’t care if anyone has a problem with me writing about this every day. Thank you, and Happy Belated 16!