Young Professional in Honduras
´A better understanding of reality'
Dirkje Jansen was one of the young professionals dispatched by Togetthere. She worked at OCDIH in Honduras for a year and a half. Her responsibilities included establishing and implementing a process for capacity development by improving the learning capability of the organization. She gave training courses, drew up joint policy and managed a communication department that focused on both internal and external communication.
"My trip has made me more understanding of a different reality. Political instability, natural disasters, personnel shifts, demands of donors and the importance of fundraising determine day-to-day reality for many partner organizations. Implementing all facets of capacity development and the aim for sustainable changes within the organizations have given me the insights I need to give proper advice to partners from the Netherlands."
Dirkje currently works for AMREF Flying Doctors. This organization focuses on improving public health in Africa. It is an African organization with national offices in 6 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
A better understanding
"Giving advice and contributing ideas about reinforcing projects and programs are important parts of my position. My experiences in Honduras are vital in this respect. Community-based development is a piece of cake now. I give advice about capacity development processes that go beyond training courses and separate activities, and I contribute ideas about making results sustainable. This isn't because I know better than my colleagues in Africa: it's because I understand them, and two heads always know more than one.
This is why I would argue to keep the junior deployments for the sake of the quality of Dutch development cooperation. I believe development cooperation is about three things: knowledge, relationships and understanding. And lasting deployments are extremely important for all three of these. My experiences go beyond just my own personal benefit, as they help in all of my future activities. So they also benefit the partner organizations I work with."
"My passion for a just world is what defines me as a person. I chose to take development studies, which shaped me. It has given me an understanding and knowledge of the unequal structures in the world, and a frame of reference in looking at the world. Knowledge of concepts, structures and systems is one thing, but understanding is different. And that is why I would like to thank ICCO for giving me the opportunity of exploring knowledge in practice and to understand that practice in developing countries."
Click here to read OCDIH's experiences with Dirkje's deployment.