I recently discovered a privately-funded initiative which helps people create and develop projects in developing countries.
It’s a great concept and operates to a format whereby groups of international volunteers typically live, cook and work together during a three-week camp.
I was intrigued by the founder’s mission to change the world, so did some research and was delighted to find sport had been added to the agenda.
It was unfortunate that a scheduled camp coincided with the first Malta Squash Masters. This meant I was only able to join the group for the last of their three-week get-together.
Co-living and working provides the ultimate test for team-work but the location - a villa on the northern shores of Malta – was perfect and ideal for jump-starting the creative juices.
The task was to develop ideas for sports programmes in local communities.
In addition to contributing skills and creativity, each participant was required to deliver a lecture.
I was a little wary of joining the camp during the final week as group dynamics can be affected by the arrival of a newcomer. But I went with an open-mind, my curiosity and sense of adventure over-riding any doubts.
I arrived at the end of a working day, sensed a low team morale and wondered if it was a combination of my eleventh hour arrival after a long day’s work for a bunch of hungry individuals.
Quiet introductions and an update followed.
All had gone well in the first week but goals had been changed by the founder and the group were divided on his new direction. Despite this they continued to work together admirably.
Team-work of any kind is always a challenge and this experience was no different.
You can probably guess the chosen topic of my lecture.
The festive season is upon us and it’s time for everyone to muck in.