Name: Josh Reece-Moore
Placement: Deep Griha Society
What is your favourite moment from interning with one of DiA’s placement partners?
I have so many positive memories from the experience so it’s hard to look back and pinpoint a specific moment although I thoroughly enjoyed bonding with everyone that I worked with in the office. Everyone was so welcoming and I really felt at home because there was such a strong sense of community. I found that things fell into place and happened very organically.
What skills and experience did you gain through interning with DiA / one of DiA’s placement partners?
I gained valuable experience that university could never have provided me with. When I was studying I found myself stuck in a marking matrix which wasn’t at all true to real life and in my mind I was shifting from focusing on letters and grades to people and experiences in the ‘real world.’ It was really, really refreshing to collaborate with others, which is something that I love doing.
Through DiA I was given the chance to initiate my own project and learned how to plan, deliver and manage creative workshops. I also learned how to work effectively when facing cultural barriers and how to improvise and explore during these workshops in ways which were completely new to me. Communication skills were also essential in order to pass on my subject knowledge and I became aware of different ways to communicate visually and also through gesture.
The experience you gain definitely contributes to both your personal and professional development. I became so much more culturally aware and I absolutely need to take time out next year to go back to India.
What did you do once you returned to the UK?
After an uncomfortable flight home I slept for ages and then went to the supermarket to buy a feast of food that I had been craving while I was on placement. After I got that out of the way I joined the DiA committee, adjusted to life back in London and I began to make digital copies of the results from our workshops.
A lot of people always ask whether or not the fabric from my collaboration with DGS was made here or in India. I used a printer based in London called Bags of Love and produced a small collection of samples which I then entered into creative competitions. I have now found more time to collaborate and I want to bring even more designs out from the sketchbooks that we produced in India.
How did your time with DiA help shape your understanding of global citizenship?
When I first got involved with DiA I knew very little about development issues or the concept of global citizenship – if I’m completely honest it was something that I’d never heard of before.
We attract involvement from a diverse range of people and I think it’s safe to say that what I learnt with DiA would never have been covered in my creative education. I’m continually learning through experience what it means to be global citizen and am always interested in how others interpret the definition. I’m sure that the Global Citizenship Forum that we’re hosting this year with Tenteleni will provoke interesting discussion points around the topic!
What are you doing now?
I’m managing the India Programme for 2015/2016 to make sure that it runs smoothly and that we take advantage of as many opportunities as possible. We are completely run by volunteers and we all put in a lot of hours behind the scenes to ensure that our programmes are as strong as possible.
I have also just started a new job which I’m really excited about where I’m hoping to gain more management experience. I still find time to work on creative projects alongside these commitments.
What advice would you give to people thinking about applying to the DiA India Internship Placement Scheme?
Ask the committee a lot of questions because the majority of us have travelled and are more than happy to discuss what life will be like while you’re on placement. Don’t forget that your journey doesn’t end when you arrive home!
Join Development in Action and Tenteleni for the Global Citizenship Forum 2015: ‘At home and overseas: The impact of young volunteers’. An interactive, audience-led discussion and Q&A on the contribution of young volunteers to development.
Tuesday 17th November, 6pm at Rise London, 69-89 Mile End Rd, London E1 4TT. More information, including that of guest speakers available at gcf2015.wordpress.com
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Development in Action.
Have an opinion on this or another topic? Why not write for our blog? Click here to find out more and get in touch.