Hello, my name is Rebecca and I am currently in my third year at the University of Chester working towards potential careers in International Development and/or Emergency Planning.
As a step towards this goal, I applied for and completed a Work Based Learning Placement with COCO across May and June 2019, with the organisations’ mission statement of ‘providing sustainable sources of quality education to children living in poor and marginalised communities’ highlighting the importance of supporting the sustainable development of vulnerable populations.
This is particularly true with regards to COCO’s ‘Schools for Life’ programmes which employ a three-step process of Listen, Learn and Sustain in order to successfully meet the needs of communities, whilst also learning from them and ensuring long-term progress is maintained.
I had the privilege of being involved in the organisation of COCO’s Annual Golf Day (2019), allowing me to both observe and experience the impact of such events on the work of organisations such as COCO, and the resulting impact of their work within the developing world.
This experience allowed me to not only develop my understanding of both the inner workings of organisations such as COCO, and the importance of their work towards achieving sustainable development, but it also allowed me to develop key skills such as problem solving, communication and teamwork.
Since finishing my placement with COCO, I have had the opportunity to apply such skills whilst volunteering with LCOYuk, taking on voluntary positions within their Venue and Materials and School Outreach sub-teams in order to help organise the UK’s first Local Conference of Youth on Climate Change. This event applies principles of inclusivity, sustainability and community-building in a collaborate environment in order to provide a platform for young people to have their say on Climate Change; with the organisation advocating the right of today’s youth to ‘raise their voice’ on topics such as climate change, and shape the world they are growing up.
Both COCO and LCOYuk’s work focuses on the importance of investing in young people, advocating their rights from their right to access a safe space to learn, to their right to have a say in the world they are growing up in. This is particularly significant now with the necessity of change promoting immediate action, increasing the importance of raising awareness and sustainably investing in our futures.
I have always tried to give something back, and this campaign towards a change in attitude and behaviour has the potential to change the world, a process which I think everyone needs to be a part of, be it in showing support for events such as those hosted by COCO or LCOYuk, or through making simple, sustainable changes in every-day life.