Looking Back at the EmpowerUS Project

Posted by on Aug 22, 2018 in Uncategorized, Vessel UK Projects


This reflection with Vessel UK participant Funmi Abari was a few months after she successfully delivered her wonderful project EmpowerUS for 42 young people and their leaders in The Gambia in December 2017.  Her friend, Ava Ansari also supported the project. The Vessel UK uses reflective practice throughout training and delivery to really tease out the learning in the creation and delivery of a project to an international audience. 

What were your expectations – were they met? 

“I expected to be supported, to have our work  reviewed and evaluated and for prior preparations organised by The Vessel UK to ensure that we were working with young people and members of the community who were interested in and excited about the project.” 
“All of these expectations were met and exceeded.” 
How was the experience for you? 
“It was really special. 
The entire experience was dense and meaningful.
Put simply, it was more than work, it was more than a volunteer project. 
It was a moment which has instructed many conversions, ideas and commitments to act.” 
How has it helped you professionally/ personally? 
“The entire process was a very important learning journey for me. I was exposed to new methods of programme design, implementation and evaluation. And still learning. “
“Personally, I was able to reflect and think about where I truly wanted my intentional journey to take me. I have greater clarity on what I hope to do with my qualification in medicine and how I want to establish a commitment to serving, teaching and caring in Africa.” 
“Professionally, my work has enabled me to demonstrate my ability to design and deliver an international project. I’ve developed skills in working creatively, facilitation, training, leadership, management and research (particularly necessary during the creation stages of the programme).” 
What will the experience feed in the future? 
“The energy and commitment to continue.” 
“In practical terms, we hope to further evaluate the sustainability of the programme and are hoping to design and deliver a more integrated programme: teaching health awareness for women, safeguarding for children and young people and exploring a sustainable method of utilising medical students in the community to extend this work.” 
“I am grateful for this journey and thankful to The Vessel UK for our learning and for creating valuable opportunities for us to contribute to good, meaningful and effective initiatives. ” 
Vessel UK Leader Funmi Abari