Lots more volunteers

Monday 12th November

I am a volunteer with VSO but all entries on this blog are my personal responsibility alone and do not represent the views of VSO.

Interesting work development this week. Overall it’s still very slow and a question of finding out as much as possible, meeting people who are going to be useful contacts, and taking satisfaction from very small achievements in trying to influence things.

However this week I got to meet the Health Minister. We had heard that he wanted to meet the various “Technical Advisers” working in the Ministry which includes the volunteers. The other Ministry based volunteer had met him a couple of weeks ago and this day I went to the Private Secretary’s office hoping to make an appointment. He went in to the Minister who said come in straightaway. During the conversation he invited me to come to future Senior Management Meetings, the weekly session of the Minister and all the senior officials. So that will be really useful  – up to now because my partner has been away, I have not been able to link in to any of the management structures.

More generally this has been the week when the new VSO volunteers arrived. There had been 26 volunteers in the country (8 working in the health programme of which 3 are in Juba). This week another 19 arrived of which 6 will be in health. Most of the new volunteers (16 out of the 19) will be going elsewhere in the country but it will feel different and it will help to develop a network of people working at different levels of the system (in Counties, States and 3 of us at the Ministry in Juba)

I knew 2 of the new volunteers from training course I had attended in the UK and it was good to see them and get to know the others at various events over the weekend.

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