Placement dissertation: makes a change

I’m doing undergraduate work and I actually feel that it’s productive. This is absolutely fantastic. For the past two years of my life I have been engrossed in so many academic debates, essays, presentations and literature reviews. Normally about half way through these, I pose a question to myself “What’s the point of this?”… “I’d much rather do the reading then debate this with someone. Surely writing this won’t actually benefit anyone”. The point of course, is to assess my ability, to enable all of us to get differing degree marks. And a higher degree mark means that I’m more likely to get a ‘better’ job. But yet, for every piece of work that I have completed in education, I still question “What’s the point?” and I have longed to do work that actually makes a positive change for some time.

Back to basics: I've been distributing posters like these.

Back to basics: I’ve been distributing posters like these.

And now, in an extremely hot attic office in Twickenham, I am. I know I’m not feeding the world ‘Bob Geldof style’, but I actually feel like I might be making a small bit of difference to the lives of street children around the globe. I like to think that the work that I have put into advertising StreetInvest’s events (THIS SUNDAY, 29th JUNE, 11 AM, TWICKENHAM 6 MILE CYCLE RIDE, JOIN US!), might actually be seen by at least one more person, who would have otherwise missed out. That one person might donate just £2 to StreetInvest, but that £2 will go so far in an organisation that is as cost efficient and central in helping the most vulnerable. And best of all, from a selfish point of view, I’m able to study this, observe this, engage in it and record it all for my dissertation. I’ve learnt a tremendous amount from my first week. From using Salesforce for client contact, calling magazine publishers, to social media analysis and creating press releases, I feel like I’ve done so much. I love how much trust I’ve been given in my role and I hope I can fulfill that trust through the content I produce.

 

451 and growing: I've been using the Twitter and Twitter feed to communicate with the public.

451 and growing: I’ve been using the Twitter and Facebook feed to communicate with the public.

StreetInvest is a fantastic charity. The people that StreetInvest aims to help, really are those who need some support the most. I love the philosophy of the charity, highlighted to me in every one of my meetings with different personnel; their aim isn’t to say “Oh you poor child, let me help you by getting you off of the horrible street”. Instead the charity is about being incredibly positive about the situation. In some cases, the street is the best and safest place to live. Taking children back to their original home or putting them other temporary accommodation, can be worse for their welfare. The organisation counts children, lets governments know they exist, educates others about the realities of street children and trains and provides responsible adults. The massive amount of work they do though, is limited by their scale. And this is the basis to build on my research this week. I am collecting data from both NGO partners of StreetInvest and from the public to see how communication is achieved and what the limitations are in an organisation as small as StreetInvest.

I shall keep you all posted.

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