This weeks blog is brought to you by PPI-NI Fellow Leif Frymire.
I am now 3 months into my fellowship with PPI – NI. In these 3 months I have organised 5 twinning programmes between 8 schools, the after school programme (BIL) in West Belfast and taken the lead on coordinating our communications and marketing. In those 3 months I have seen Sally Nnamani finish her fellowship and Andrew Daniels begin his. In those 3 months I have seen our Italian intern, Tomasso, complete his time with us and our Austrian intern, Pascal, join us.
In 3 months I have seen a lot of change in PeacePlayers – NI. Much of this caused by the coming and going of International Fellows. One of the roles of the Fellowship programme is to keep the organisation fresh. With each new fellow, a new set of characteristics, experiences and knowledge is brought in to the organisation creating the potential to leave a lasting impact on PPI programmes and operations.
It’s easy enough for me to reflect on how I have personally changed in these 3 months as I learn to be the best coordinator I can. However, what is most impressive is how the permanent, local staff handle the constant change. Can you imagine having to say goodbye to one fellow and train a new one every year? While I might dread the prospect, local staff member Debbie Byrne could barely contain her excitement. She would abruptly stop work and start clapping with joy, “our team is nearly complete again!”
Having gone through these transitions for many years now, it seems the staff here have the constant change in the office down to a science and look forward to the new experiences and challenges that come with it. Gareth is always talking about how a part of our culture here at PPI – NI is a culture of learning; I think it’s safe to say the staff here have been learning from American fellows for nearly a decade now.
From my own experience, it seems they’ve learned how to be patient. They’ve learned how not to give negative feedback, but provide methods on how to improve those qualities for the better. Their adaptability is an incredible quality to have. While I have not had the opportunity to visit the other PeacePlayers sites, I can imagine it would be very similar. Can you think of any organizations that goes through as much change as the PPI sites? I can’t.
With each transition, something new can be learned. With each challenge, the organization grows for the better.