My twenty day placement took place at Retrak which is a Manchester based charity and its primary aim is to aid the reintegration of former children of the street in seven African countries (The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe) and Brazil in Latin America (Retrak, 2017). The aim of my placement was for me to produce a literature review for the charity with the set question “How have other research projects attempted to assess the impact of reintegration of child soldiers or other groups of children?” and focus on more longitudinal studies.
The placement was extremely interesting because if successful my literature was going to be used to help them design a future project in one of their selected countries. It was a great insight into how a charity works, the staff members I met were welcoming and all extremely nice, everyone was so passionate about the charity’s vision that it was inspiring. Although, much of my placement was a distant project I was allowed to go into the charity head office whenever I needed to, even meeting the current CEO Sir Peter Fahy.
I learnt a lot of valuable lessons from the charity, it allowed me to use my academic research for a charity and as I am interested in working into the humanitarian sector it gave me invaluable experience. As the project was based around former children of the street and I also investigated former child soldiers I gained a detailed insight into an area of study I was not previously too clued up on. The knowledge I learnt is extremely applicable to many struggles that are currently taking place throughout the world and I am now particular interested in the reintegration processes and techniques that will be used in ongoing protracted conflicts like Syria or Yemen and seeing if similar routes will be used. I will be reading the annual report of children of the street for many years to come as well.