Mentorship at the heart of RECONCILE
Jesiccah Siimoy, Project Assistant/Volunteer at RECONCILE
RECONCILE provides a platform for learning, participation, practice and exposure for students and fresh graduates. This is done through, action-oriented research, community involvement and knowledge management in the different platforms provided by the institution at a given period. The special program and internship, develops skills of different learners while on the other hand supporting RECONCILE in achieving its objectives.
In the beginning of 2018, RECONCILE received interns with various areas of specialization including law, community development, natural resource management, human resource management and rangeland management. These interns were able to develop an understanding of laws, policies, institutions and partnerships promoted by RECONCILE to improve and empower communities. Interns participated in indoor and outdoor activities organized by or in partnership with the organization. These activities included but not limited to project work documentation, participation in community meetings, seminars and stakeholders forums hence enriching interns’ skills in community mobilization, team work and project management among others.
- Training and presentation skills: Under the special program, the interns had an opportunity to participate in the training of community mobilizers on Community Land Act, constitutional provisions on land and environment and conflict management/ resolution in Isiolo and Marsabit. Through the delivery of knowledge to the communities and participation in the different counties, the program has helped the interns improve their technical skills, boost their confidence and develop their understanding of the different communities and their way of life. Furthermore, through RECONCILE’s involvement in organizing, mobilizing and sponsoring some of the county stakeholders’ forum members to the 2018 Kenya pastoralist week; the interns had an opportunity to interact with different community while giving them legal aid, engaging with stakeholders and partners and understanding the issues communities face in securing their land rights.
- Stakeholder engagement: The program gave interns an opportunity to participate in the stakeholder’s forum on eco-schools program, which aims to promote proper use of resources in schools and trigger actions in communities. It seeks to empower the young people to promote sustainable living while conserving the natural resources in their environment and protecting their environment. Additionally, through the program the interns have been able to engage with other stakeholders, partners and communities including small holder dairy commercialization programme (SDCP), national climate change action plan review, dairy development in Africa workshop, joint CSOs strategy meeting, Nakuru violence prevention policy validation workshop, amongst others.
- Resource mobilization and development of proposals: Through guidance from the various program and administration officers in RECONCILE, the interns were able to develop concept notes, ideas for fundraising and writing proposals for different areas of focus in the institution.
- Documentation and report writing: Through the program, the interns were able to develop reviews in areas surrounding natural resource governance including reports on issues affecting resource dependent communities such as pastoralists and indigenous people, information on East African rangelands , livelihood systems East African rangelands developing RECONCILE’s success stories and drafting of the quarterly bulletin.
- Policy and laws review: The program officers in RECONCILE have worked closely with the interns to develop reviews on the land laws, natural resource policies and laws, rangelands laws and policies and other areas. Securing communal ownership of land: the fate of communities.
- Administration and finance management: Through the various activities in RECONCILE the interns have been able to develop their human resource skills such as team work and working with no supervision. Also during field activities, the interns are able to manage the funds assigned to them for different purposes and assist in budgets during the planning of project activities.
- Project and program management cycle: Through the various projects and program activities the interns participated in the development of work plans, reports and participation in meetings. The activities played a major role in the development of the interns’ ability to coordinate projects and programs without any supervision and therefore improving their career and technical skills.
My experience as a conflict and natural resource management intern has been diverse and ever-changing. Through the guidance from the different experienced program officers, I got an opportunity to interact and learn from the different areas of natural resource management. I was able to participate in the project and program activities therefore I have managed to develop my technical skills. Additionally, interaction with the different partners and stakeholders has developed my teamwork and communication skills. Thanks to the great team in the organization ~Siimoy Jesiccah~