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International volunteering at Dialogue place: "Meet Tanya"

Our incubator Dialogue Place is often pleased to host international volunteers who support our activities and increase their skills.

In this article, our young volunteer Tanya shows us her path of excellence between India, London, Uganda up to Naples to support our activities through the International Volunteering program.

My name is Tanya Singh. I grew up in India and moved to London in 2013 to start my university education. Prior to arriving in London, I used to work as a part-time teacher for Uday Foundation, an NGO based in New Delhi, India. My primary job there was to teach English and Mathematics to both young and old individuals, who were illiterate at the time. It was there that I met Mr. Siddharta Khanna, an investment banker based in Mumbai, India. I interned for him during the summer of 2011 & 2012 and he recommended that I choose Economics as my major.

So in 2013, I moved to London to study Economics at Queen Mary University of London. During that time, I worked as a research assistant to Dr. Thomai Filippeli, an Associate Professor of Macroeconomics and International Economics at my university. Her research was about focussing on the uncertainty shocks in the global economy and their impact on the economies of Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and New Zealand.

This was a really interesting three-month experience for me. Because not only did I learn about data analysis, it is what pushed me into doing a Master’s in Development Economics. After finishing my undergraduate degree in 2016, I moved to University College London to study Development Economics.

My Master’s program helped me develop my research skills and as part of the curriculum, we travelled to Kampala (Uganda) on a research project. I was appointed Project Manager for my team of six people. We worked with Community Development Resource Network (CDRN), an NGO based in Kampala to study participatory techniques as a means to resolve community conflicts pertaining to land issues. Due to the ambiguous property laws in the country, conflicts in the Masaka region (South-west of Kampala) are very common. The idea of our project was to study the participatory techniques practiced by CDRN to resolve conflicts. Along with advocating for formal land ownership recognition amongst community members and Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) strategies, we were able to make some recommendations to the NGO about how conflicts can be avoided in the first place.

After returning to London, I interned at Y-Care International, an NGO of the YMCA movement in the UK and Ireland, based in London. I was asked to study how credit schemes can be made accessible to young vulnerable individuals in rural Liberia. I also submitted this research as my thesis for my Master’s degree. This research is due to be published in February 2018.

Before starting my PhD in October 2018, I wanted to take a break from studying. And while the idea of just sitting around sounds amazing, I couldn’t get myself to do it and decided to do something productive instead. The International volunteering at Dialogue Place, recommended by a friend, seemed like a great thing to do as it not only allows me travel around this beautiful country but also enables me to make a tiny contribution to the important work Dialogue Place is doing.

After finishing this program, I will travel to London in March to intern at a political consultancy called Thorncliffe. In June, I will sit for an exam to receive my Investment Operations Certificate (IOC) to start working in the financial industry during my PhD. And hopefully if things go well, in the future, I will work to take Dialogue Place’s commitment to Social Enterprises forward because I think it is imperative that such initiatives expand not just in the EU but outside as well.

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