As many of you will be aware, our Development Officer Ed Howarth will be leaving us at the end of April to take a sabbatical for one year working for VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) in Papua New Guinea. He will return to his role in Wales in May 2013; we are looking forward to the great experience and insights Ed will bring back to Wales with him, and I'm sure you'll join me in wishing him all the very best for the year ahead!
In the meantime, we are excited to announce the appointment of Melanie Harbinson , who will cover Ed's role over the year ahead. Melanie is from Tongwynlais in North Cardiff, and studied her Masters in Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship (ESDGC) at the University of Wales Newport.
Melanie joins us directly from her current role as Training Development Manager at the Microloan Foundation in Malawi. She has also previously worked for the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia; as a researcher for the NGO 'Reach Out' in Cameroon; as a teacher trainer in Eritrea; and and as a teacher and Director of Learning in County Durham. Melanie will bring some great experience, fresh perspectives, a bright outlook, and a deep understanding of training and development support needs of volunteer-run projects, as well as field experience of poverty reduction strategies from 4 African country contexts. We are confident that following 2 weeks handover from Ed, she will soon hit the ground running!
Melanie was interviewed by the panel in Cardiff - rather unusually, via Skype (free online video conferencing) from Lilongwe in Malawi! We received some excellent applications for the post, which did not make for an easy decision; we would like to express our gratitude to the interview panel in particular Bekezela Nsingo from African Mothers Foundation International / Sub-Saharan African Advisory Panel, and Ele Fisher from Swansea University Centre for Development Studies, who helped bring some fantastic external perspective to the appointment process.
Ed will formally hand over to Melanie from Friday 4th May and we look forward to the opportunity to introduce her to many Wales Africa Links over the coming weeks.