Volunteer Country Coordinators

Country Coordinators are our main contact with groups applying for tools in Africa.  If you have experience of working in Africa or simply want to expand your horizons this role may be for you.  It's time consuming and challenging. as applications come in daily from our dedicated website applytotwam.uk via online application or email.  As English is most applicants second language, it can be fun working out what they are saying.

This role is at the heart of TWAM's operation and will require constant communication with the Operations Manager and Logistics Manager, who are both volunteers and also with the Ipswich Refurbishment Centre Manager.  Regular communication with the Chief Executive is also required.  This role also requires regular contact with our in-country partners who receive our containers, distribute the tools and support applicants.

The way it works

Each Country Coordinator is responsible for a specific country in Africa, currently these are DR Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  Depending on how busy that country is, for example we send one container to Tanzania annually but up to ten to Zambia, there may be one Coordinator or a team.  Ideally we would like a minimum of two people per country.

The Coordinator receives applications for tools which comprise of an application form about the organisation applying and a separate application for tools and / or educational books.  On receipt,  these are recorded into a spreadsheet, an application number given and correspondence filed.  The Coordinator will then assess the group applying and the tools they have requested and following agreed guidelines make an offer of tools.  Applicants are asked to contribute towards the shipping cost of their tools and this is part of the offer made.  

Applicants will then confirm acceptance of the offer, generally when they are ready to pay their shipping contribution which may be in as short as a week or as long as a year.  When they pay the Coordinator records this and the applicant becomes a recipient as the tools they have requested are added to a container spreadsheet.  This will be the next available container with space.  All tools are measured by cubic capacity, so the Coordinator knows when a container is full.  At every stage the Coordinator will liaise with the Operations Manager and Ipswich Refurbishment Centre Manager to ensure the tools offered can be shipped.

When the container spreadsheet is complete it is handed over to the Operations Manager, who then takes responsibility for arranging shipping to the in-country partner.

 

Country Coordinators have the opportunity to go overseas to visit their partners and recipients with a subsidy from TWAM.  This helps build deep and lasting friendships with the staff of the in-country partner and groups that regularly apply for tools.  It is an incredibly rewarding role for someone with the appropriate skills. 

This is a senior volunteer position and the application is handled personally by the Chief Executive.  They are the only person who can appoint a Country Coordinator.  Because TWAM is a Christian Charity, all our partners are Christian organisations and most of our applicants are Christian organisations (though this is not a requirement), and in keeping with current legislation, this role requires someone of the Christian faith who could understand and communicate appropriately with people of faith.

 

Country Coordinators meet in Ipswich twice a year and all are expected to attend this very important meeting.

What we offer

You can expect:

  1. An induction and training programme

  2. A Country Coordinator best practice handbook

  3. Regular contact and support from senior volunteers (Operations, Logistics and Country Coordinators) and staff (Chief Executive and Ipswich Refurbishment Centre Manager)

  4. TWAM email and Google for Business Drivestream account

  5. Subsidised overseas visits

  6. Two meetings a year (with accommodation and travel expenses if required)

  7. Volunteer Handbook

An incredibly rewarding role with opportunities to see Africa and develop cross-cultural lasting friendships.

What we expect

This is a very important role and one that will enhance and develop our reputation and impact across Africa.  Therefore we expect professionalism and respect at all times.  We expect an expression of Christian faith to be evident in communication, not least when dealing with people for whom English is not their first language or to whom the format of email does not come naturally.

 

  1. We need you to have a good understanding of Microsoft Excel and be able to accurately populate spreadsheets.  An eye for detail is essential at all times.

  2. We need you to be at ease with email, Microsoft Office and willing to learn Google for Business, if you are not already familiar with Gmail and Drive.

  3. We expect you to promptly and courteously respond to email requests and for applicants seeking assurance we have received their shipping donation.

  4. We are looking for people who can work in a team and support other members of the country coordinator team.  

  5. We expect you to respect the personal information applicants share with you in line with our Privacy Policy and Data Retention Policy.

  6. We expect this is to be an amazing eye opening and rewarding role. with an impact across Africa that is simply mind blowing.

Interested in joining us?  Then please apply online or download the application form here and the Chief Executive will be in touch.

Country Coordinators_edited_edited.jpg

What attracted you to volunteering with TWAM and to this role in particular?

A friend introduced me to TWAM soon after I retired from an admin and personnel background in the Armed Forces.  With my background this role seemed ideally suited to me. Having served in Sierra Leone and been involved in charitable projects whilst out there, I was not convinced that just giving money to people was the best solution and TWAM’s concept of giving tools seemed the right way to help those in need.

 

What is most inspiring about volunteering as a country coordinator?

It has to be the people I support.  Meeting them and seeing what they are trying to do is inspirational.  I am also hugely impressed by the TWAM team I work with for the dedication and support they freely give to help their fellow human beings.  When I see people with so little, this gives me the motivation I need to tackle my role.

 

And what is your most memorable moment?

It depends whether you want memorable good or memorable bad!  I have had a loaded weapon pointed at me in DR Congo whilst travelling to the other side of Zambia but conversely visiting a group in the slums of Lusaka and seeing the conditions the people we support live in is all the motivation I need. 

Read more...

 

Zambia Country Coordinator

Paul

Mary Carter

What attracted you to volunteering with TWAM and to this role in particular?

I had heard about TWAM some years before I retired.  A quilting friend volunteered in Haberdashery. On my first day she couldn't be there so I quickly learned to pack Haberdashery boxes!  From there, I have had various roles including packing wool, cleaning and sorting knitting needles (I gave up counting after packing more than 20,000 pairs in my first year!), sorting drill bits and servicing sewing Machines.  So, I had been involved with TWAM for some time but agreed to take on this additional role as I felt it was an extension of what I was already doing, as it involved being in contact with those who needed the tools and used them

 

What is most inspiring about volunteering as a country coordinator?

The fact that people's hopes and dreams are fulfilled almost beyond our imagination by the simple provision of one of our kits of refurbished tools.   

Read more...

 

Democratic Republic of Congo Country Coordinator

Mary 

 
 

Tools with a Mission

2 Bailey Close. Hadleigh Road Industrial Estate, Ipswich, IP2 0UD

Tel: +44 1473 210220       Email: post@twam.uk

visit our main site twam.uk

Charity no: 1104903 (England & Wales) SCO44069 (Scotland).  A company limited by guarantee and registered in England no: 5114575.

Privacy Policy