My Job Description

Konyagi and tonic anyone?

Lest you think I am simply sitting around eating ugali (corn mush) and sipping Konyagi (local gin), I’m posting the job description that Polly and I agreed to this week.  There are a lot of different tasks I’ll be working on in the next year and I’m sure more will pop up but this is already a pretty full slate. It’s a lot of work to run a good organization, especially in a challenging environment like TZ, and Sega is fairly understaffed right now so volunteers have plenty to do. Even though it’s the weekend and Friday was a Muslim holiday, I worked several hours on Friday and am working right now on a Sunday morning trying to get the financials for our poultry business sorted out so they can be shown to the chair of the board who will be here this week.

Swimming with Sega Pre-Form girls

Not much of my job has me working directly with the girls, however, so I am also teaching swimming once a week. We take a bus to the Morogoro International School because they have a pool and the girls are incredibly enthusiastic.  Few, if any, have ever been in a pool before although some have been in rivers so are more comfortable going under water.  Swimming is not a skill many Africans possess!

While I am having difficulty getting across the idea of kicking with straight legs and keeping arms from going all akimbo, it is a fun way to interact with them and many are starting to catch on.  I always enjoy it and am thrilled to have the opportunity to cool down.

Job Description for April Gilbert for 2013

R1)  Leadership Program Documentation:  Responsible for reviewing and summarizing the existing Leadership and Life Skills Program:

• Review and orient to all of the existing activities within the “Life Skills Program” at SEGA, assessing which ones are at the core of the program, and warrant being documented as part of the program.
• Create a summary sheet with a visual diagram, explaining the main components to outside audience (donors, NGOs, schools, NM and SEGA Boards).
• Ensure sources for materials used are clearly cited.
• Edit, re-organize, condense, or re-conceptualize as needed, in consultation with Director, VSO and Counselor as appropriate.

R2)  Organizational Assessment:  Through interviews with Sega staff and board members, provide organizational assessment with suggestions for improved management and governance:

  • Interview Sega staff and board in TZ and, possibly, NM board via phone to collect a broad perspective on what is working well and where challenges are.
  • Write up findings in form of an organizational assessment that will assist SEGA and Nurturing Minds to strengthen SEGA.
  • Provide on-call organizational consulting to headmistress and any other staff who request it on an as-needed basis.

R3) Poultry Business Consultant and Chairperson

  • Call and oversee bi-weekly poultry business team meetings.
  • Ensure agendas and minutes are produced for each meeting.
  • Ensure bi-weekly business reports and up to date financials are maintained by poultry business manager.
  • Build capacity of poultry business manager to ensure that revenue and expense numbers are kept and reported accurately and by improving his Excel skills for financial reporting.

R4)  Business Plan Development: Responsible for assessing viability of and developing business plans for a) Hotel and b) associated Tourism Services for guests at SEGA and c) Kiswahili, English or other Adult Learning Center:

• Form and Chair a Committee, leading the process of business plan development through a team of people including the SEGA Entrepreneurship Teacher, SEGA Director, Fundacion Paraguaya representative and 1 other SEGA Teacher to be identified.
• Working closely with Entrepreneurship Teacher, collect information necessary for informing business plan development
• Visit language school in USA River to see their center, gaining ideas
• Ensure ownership and buy-in of other SEGA members, through their participation in the committee and follow-up activities
• Integral to assessing viability and to each business plan will be Learning By Doing approach and profitability.
• Share progress regularly with, and gain input of, Nurturing Minds Chair and SEGA Board, in collaboration with SEGA Director, through attending board meetings of phone calls upon request

R5)  Entrepreneurship Curriculum Development: Responsible for supporting the Entrepreneurship Teacher to develop an experiential Entrepreneurship Program for Forms I, III, and IV at SEGA:

• Through commenting on written documents, observation of Entrepreneurship classes and follow-up discussions, support SEGA’s Entrepreneurship Teacher to make the Entrepreneurship Curriculum more experiential, and integrated with real life activities such as is done in the current Business Clubs model.
• Work with FP (Melissa) and Geoffrey to ensure the Entrepreneurship Curriculum and Business Clubs curriculum become one curriculum, spanning Forms III and IV.
• Research existing curricula (Aflatoun, Junior Achievement) and adapt/develop a “personal finance” module for Form I students to ensure girls learn personal money management. Link concepts of family size and planning children to the personal economy concept.

R6)  Transactional Sex Module:

• Get up to speed on subject of transactional sex among young women in Tanzania and East Africa.
• Collaborate with Laura of University of Minnesota and Ana of Sega, at a minimum.
• Develop an experiential learning module on the subject that includes a discussion of transactional sex, its dangers, alternatives to it, and relevant negotiations techniques.
• Find guest speakers to discuss personal experiences, approaches, or research.
• Use role-plays and case studies to create experiential learning environment. Include workshops with boys or young men so that role-playing is more realistic.


6 thoughts on “My Job Description

  1. April
    Your job and activities sound so exciting! I am so happy for you and proud of you taking this opportunity to make a real difference in the world! Hope you are busy enough to keep from getting too homesick.

  2. HI April,
    I sure have been appreciating your updates. It’s been fascinating! The pictures combined with your posts help me imagine your experience. The job description sounds ambitious and full of empowerment for the girls. I had to look up the term “transactional sex” which I guessed was what I’ve heard in social work as “survival sex,” like when homeless teens agree to sex with someone in exchange for housing. Anyway, I thought some of your other readers might not be familiar with the term so here’s what I found on Wikipedia:

    “Transactional sexual relationships are sexual relationships where the giving of gifts or services is an important factor. Transactional sex relationships are distinct from other kinds of prostitution, in that the transactional sex provides only a portion of the income of the person providing the sex. Those offering sex may or may not feel affection for their patrons.
    In the western world, transactional sex usually involves a woman living in extreme poverty. If unable to pay her rent one month, she might have sex with her landlord. Any number of other services, legal and illegal, can be paid for with sex acts.
    Transactional sexual relationships are particularly common in sub-Saharan Africa, where they often involve relationships between older men and younger women or girls. In many cases, the woman in a transactional sexual relationship may remain faithful to her boyfriend, while he may have multiple sexual partners. In other cases, the woman may have multiple partners. In both of these cases, transactional sex presents an increased risk of HIV infection. As a result, transactional sex is a factor involved in the spread of AIDS in Africa.
    The general consensus among those studying transactional sex is that it is associated with the joint onslaught of poverty and the influence of Western consumerism, the differences in economic power between men and women, and the breakdown of traditional African marriage customs involving bridewealth.”

    Please let me know if Wikipedia got it basically right or not.
    Thanks again April!

  3. Hi April,

    Wow, this must be sooo exciting for you. I love receiving your e-mails and hearing about all your exciting news and life in Africa. Enjoy!!!


  4. Hi April, Kelsey recommended that I read your blog and I’m so happy that I did. Your job(s)!! sound not only extremely interesting, but right up your alley. Looking forward to following your adventure as it continues. Love from New York!

  5. Hi April- I enjoyed your description of the swimming lesson, but I can tell my your job descriptions that you will not have much pool time. Best of luck with your work. I went to Nigeria when i was 19 and had a profound experience that shaped the rest of my career in public health. Thanks for sharing. Susan Rich

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