Shona joined ChildFund in 2011 after two years in South Africa where she was working directly with community organisations on a wide range of development issues, from the effects of HIV/AIDS, to microenterprise development, to making improvements in people’s access to clean water.
Kia ora. I’m the Programmes Director of ChildFund New Zealand. My job is to make sure that the projects we support in our five dedicated project areas (in Kenya, Zambia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Timor-Leste) are achieving the most effective change possible for children. We work with the community to plan the changes they want to see happen. By the end of 12-15 years, we aim to have accomplished all that we set out to achieve. I work with our Programmes team to help ensure things stay on track.
I’ve lived in developing countries, working on projects like the ones ChildFund supports. I’ve learned a lot from the people I’ve met. Their circumstances – their culture and environment, and their access to resources and opportunity – are so different to our situation here in New Zealand. Our Programmes team are always conscious of this when we assess and develop the projects ChildFund supports, and we make a point of really listening to what people are saying.
I love the energy and enthusiasm the people instil me with whenever I go to visit our projects. Parents are so determined to make the future brighter for their children. I feel hugely responsible in my job, not only to the donors and sponsors of ChildFund, but also to the communities we work with. Despite the weight of this responsibility, I do LOVE my job, especially when I see the change we help to bring about.