Hi! My name is Alex Long and I’m an Australian Red Cross volunteer working with Straight Talk Foundation for 9 months until June 2015. My role here is as Youth Project Officer working mainly with the Training and Development department. I started working with young people many years ago as a high school teacher. I taught English as a Second Language and French in several Sydney high schools. I love working with young people because of their energy and resilience….and because they always make me laugh!
What am I working on in 2015?
This year my work will focus on lots of training and workshops. Initially I will be supporting the management team to implement and train staff in a new Child Protection Policy. For the rest of my assignment I will be strengthening staff capacity in areas such as gender sensitive facilitation, leadership and sustaining creativity in writing; and supporting staff to implement youth engagement programs through Straight Talk clubs and other youth events. It’s going to be a busy year but I know it will be worthwhile!
I am able to work here in Uganda because of an Australian Government volunteer initiative run through the Australian Red Cross. The Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program was launched in 2011 and works with around 1200 partner organisations in over 40 countries in Africa, the Pacific, Asia and the Middle East. These organisations are already making an impact in their own communities, whether it is delivering health and education services or advocating for human rights. AVID volunteers do not replace local jobs; instead we work to strengthen the activities of our partner organisations.
Thank you to Straight Talk Foundation for hosting me as a volunteer and supporting me on this incredible adventure. Thank you to my knowledgeable colleagues for your laughter and friendship, for teaching me so many things about sexual and reproductive health as well as answering my endless questions! The work that you do here in Uganda is so valuable and I am in awe of your dedication to young people and their well being. ”
By Alex Long