In this blog post and photo diary, SIDshare’s Social Media Officer, Meg, reflects on being part of the first cohort to visit the newly established SIDshare and KEDA field centre. The Field Centre is based in Tanzania, and is a social enterprise which will fund future KEDA and SIDshare projects.
By Meg McElwee
After months of excitedly anticipating the completion of the SIDshare and KEDA joint venture, in March 2016 the gates of the Field Centre finally opened to its first cohort of visitors – a group of International Development Masters students from the University of Sheffield – and I was lucky enough to be one of them! As a SIDshare committee member, being able to see the Field Centre in person was the cherry on the top of the field class; particularly as I had spent months following the building journey, and documenting this process via photo updates for the SIDshare social media followers- and now I was actually seeing the site in real life!
The Field Centre’s wonderful staff welcomed us to Nija’panda, in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. They made us feel at home, comfortable, and ensured that we had delicious locally sourced Tanzanian food throughout our stay.
Amazing views of Kilimanjaro greeted us every morning and created a scenic working environment at the Field centre in the afternoons, after eventful mornings spent undertaking research.
Carrying out our research projects in the Field Centre’s surrounding communities gave us a unique opportunity to engage with locals and gather valuable data to inform future KEDA projects.
We also had the opportunity to present our research findings to an audience of local stakeholders, thanks to the organisational efforts of KEDA. This was a brilliant way to conclude our trip, as we were able to feedback our results in a personal and interactive way.
Visiting the field centre for our field class, really gave the students an opportunity to implement what we had learnt throughout the academic year, and I think this will prove to be essential experience when carrying out research during our placements this summer. Beyond this, my time at the Field Centre has motivated me to pursue further professional fieldwork experience in International Development.
I am currently an MA International Development student, so being involved in SIDshare is the perfect chance to further my knowledge and experience in the field that I hope to have a future career in. Through my role as Social Media Officer, I hope to help promote SIDshare’s fantastic opportunities and events, and learn more about global advocacy campaigns and initiatives.