As someone who has worked all her (little) life in small organisations often consisting of 5 or less people, entering Oxfam Novib seemed very overwhelming. I can confidently say that my fellow students felt no different.
However, what Oxfam Novib did differently was give us a life-jacket before we even boarded the ship of organized development. They created a space where we felt valued and welcomed, with Farah Karimi even sharing her time and thoughts with us.
What followed was an enthralling day of workshops and interactive learning. Quick sneak-peak sessions on Pitching, Digital Campaigning and Impact Measurement, I believe, were just a taste of what lies ahead in the upcoming year. Having expert colleagues not only share their valuable experience but also draw from our learnings and inputs already made us feel like we belong on the first day itself! What could have been perceived as serious and even intimidating suddenly felt more embracing and inclusive as we ran about the huge office speaking to colleagues about what keeps them going to make a difference in the world.
I would walk by the huge Oxfam Novib building everyday while living in The Hague. At the time, it felt like the concrete building was all I had to go by as its physical identity. But having a chance to meet the people behind the programmes and campaigns humanized its immensity. It was humbling and has left me inspired. I return home anticipating tomorrow, hoping to make Oxfam Novib Academy a beautiful experience for everyone.