Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Monday, October 10, 2011

A little token (Fran's farewell)

When I was first asked to write about my time here by Sergio (our new Science and Training Officer)… I unknowingly obliged, thinking that this would be one of the easiest blogs I had written over of the past two years. Unfortunately it proves to be one of the most difficult but also, the most heartfelt.
I first started with GVI Kenya back in 2009 as an intern on their ‘Community Development Internship’ after working 6months, I was given the opportunity to step up to ‘Community Officer’.  This position enabled me to oversee GVI’s community program in both Shimoni and on Mkwiro Island.  For this opportunity and job, I am eternally grateful.  GVI has been and will remain the best experience of my life so far.
There are so many stories to tell…. so much I would love to share with you, but I have been struggling to find the right words! The words that would do justice to the people to whom I work with, to those I have met and the stories we share together.
I have so many amazing memories of my time with each of these communities (Shimoni and Mkwiro), memories of the challenges we faced together, the successes and achievements and the laughs and jokes we had along the way. Community Development work is long; it’s not all about tangible results as much as it is the easier option.  It’s about capacity building and providing vocational training opportunities, providing individuals with the much needed knowledge and skills to enable them to go out and independently achieve their aims and objectives.  This is the one thing about GVI that I have deep respect for.. and something I am proud to say I assisted in instilling within the work we do in the communities.  Ensuring project sustainability and community ownership is what is important and something we pride ourselves in ensuring!!
Text: Fran Millsop 
Fran (right) and Nikki (left) during one of the activities of Safe Shimoni.

The effects seem invisible, not because no one can feel them or see them… but because they are immeasurable’.