The development officer roles are suitable for candidates with experience working in the field of development and/or solid experience working in a management role.
We provide development officers with in-country training, accommodation and in-country support. Some roles will also include a stipend to cover living expenses.
No current vacanices
What did you do whilst volunteering with The Collective?
I was the first Development Officer for Future for Children (a grassroots NGO working with street and vulnerable children in Freetown) working on a new partnership with UK-based not for profit watch brand SWOMO. My role involved supporting and developing the capacity and operational processes within the organisation and acting as the liaison officer between FFC and SWOMO. The work spanned from setting up marketing and communications outlets, restructuring reporting processes to visiting beneficiaries at school and home.
Which elements did you most enjoy? There have been many parts of the placement that I have enjoyed from experiencing life in Sierra Leone through work and living in Freetown to the ability to test and challenge myself and having the pleasure of being embraced in to the FFC team. Some of the most enjoyable elements have been the most memorable; from going to the field for the first time to meet SWOMO beneficiaries, helping at distribution days to seeing the motivation and enthusiasm from the FFC team for new ideas and changes. Also there are moments when working here I caught myself walking around with a smile on my face and didn’t always know why; but I started to realise that when looking back at my first impressions of Sierra Leone…. “Salone is a place of friendly people, beautiful beaches, hope, pride and resilience. A place full of colour, life, loud music and big smiles!”.. It’s simply too hard to not to join in.
What did your experience teach you? You should never underestimate your ability to adapt, grow and learn; both professionally and personally. Working with The Collective made me realise and experience that any help and support you can give to others especially in a developing country can really help make a difference; even if just to one person’s day, you can make a positive impact.
What are you doing now?
I am about to start a new role as Project Manager for the INGO WSPA. I’ll be working with a Freetown based organisation SLAWS to support and improve business and operational practices’ ensuring sustainable work is being undertaken.
Did your experience volunteering with The Collective support you to get the job? If so, how?
Certainly had I not had the experience of working in development with Future for Children through The Collective I doubt I would have been successful in my application. The role I was exposed to in my Collective placement will undoubtedly fuel a lot of my knowledge and skills in my new job. The experience of working and living in Freetown and becoming accustomed to the culture enabled me to relate and already have experience of some of the issues and work that is required in my new role. Paired with my previous work being a part of The Collective has given me the extra string to my bow so to speak; enabling me to make the leap in to Project Management work in a developing country.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into overseas development work?
Go for it! There is a huge volume of development work that is going on not just in Sierra Leone but across the world. There is often too much choice when it comes to knowing where to go and in what capacity and volunteering is a great way of trying out living and working in place you think you might like. Put some time in to researching organisations, areas of work and countries you want to see then seek people like The Collective to help you get there and try it out. You never know where it may lead, just remember it’s not impossible or too late to try overseas development work and from experience it’s worth it.