Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Of beds, glasses and the Conference!

Whenever I sleep in strange and foreign beds, I am never really totally in tune with my routines. This has led me to believe that humans are creatures of habit.

This morning I woke up from my temporary bed at the SOS Regional Training and Resource Centre. It is a lovely place where we hold meetings, workshops and trainings for co workers from around the globe. Since Sunday, we have had colleagues who are undergoing training on how to handle Child Protection Investigations. We have 12 out of 13 expected participants and the training is going very well, with lots of sharing concerning how to handle reported concerns of abuse.

Among the trainers, we are privileged to have Mr. Paul Nolan a veteran child protection specialist, who has had extensive experience over the years with organizations such as Save the Children and Plan International. I remember in 2005 when SOS Children’s Villages was working on its “local procedures” which later developed to the “Child Protection Policy” we consulted with him via email a lot. It is a pleasure and an honor to have him take us through the rigmaroles of investigating concerns during this week.

“Where are my glasses?” I wonder as I go about preparing myself for the day. They have managed to totally disappear and it doesn’t help that they are brown with a grey ultra thin arms that I can hardly see without my glasses! The irony of the whole matter helps me keep my head and not scream with frustration. When things are not going too well, I have been told to focus on the positive, so I start thinking of all the good things that I can call to mind.

Materials for my booth arrived yesterday! I now have all the things I need for the display booth at the Conference, and my colleague Ngendo, graciously accepted to take charge of that. Also, I got confirmation about the arrival of one of the delegates to the conference for whom there have been a lot of problems with the visa because of her nationality.

That is a lot of good news! I am happily smiling to myself as I think of the agenda for the 6th and last committee meeting whose agenda I received last night. Thursday the 24th September 09, we shall meet to give the final thrust to ensure everything is going to be ok. I wonder what it must be like at the secretariat?

I got word from Paul the conference coordinator that there is a registration crisis, we have well over 430 persons who have expressed interest, and we had planned for 350. It seems a long way from the earlier days when we were not even sure if the numbers would add up! “Oh yes” I say to myself, “we have come along way!”. Just then, I catch a glimpse of something shining on the floor, and upon closer scrutiny, yes, it is my pair of glasses. Hmmm, I think to myself as I look at the state of the room which I have turned inside out as I searched for them “I have come along way to finding these!” Ok, got to run, breakfast is almost over!

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