My work experience with ACT

by ACT

  • Posted on July 20, 2018

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The staff were very welcoming and kind to me and made me feel like I had a real job.”

…. Meet Tobias

My name is Tobias and currently I’m in Year 10 at Harris Academy, South Norwood. At my school, pupils in Year 10 are required to do some work experience for two weeks because it helps teenagers gain an understanding of how working is and creates a realistic experience of working and having a real job.

I decided to gain my experience with the African Child Trust (ACT) which is a small charity based in Croydon. The charity helps and supports disadvantaged young children, orphans and widows in Africa throughout the majority of their school lives. They are currently working in eight countries across Africa. Although my time with ACT was short, it was enjoyable and there were numerous tasks to be carried out which taught me new skills and how to do new things.

On my first day with ACT and after a brief induction and introduction to the office, I carried out some photo scanning which meant that I had to scan multiple photos onto a computer and improve their quality by altering different features such as the contrast and brightness. This was actually more entertaining than it may seem as I was able to see different scenes and events, such as mission trips which to the African countries where ACT supports children. From the photos I could see how the children have benefitted with school materials and also learnt a bit about their lifestyles and culture in their communities in Africa. It is so clear how different their lives are to mine living in the UK.

On my second day I was asked to carry out a critical review of ACT social media pages and the website. This included what could be improved, what I liked, what I didn’t like and what immediately caught my eye. This helps to identify anything that could improve the quality of the social media pages and the website.  It also helps to identify any errors present that may have been missed. I was also asked to complete some tasks related to statistics and spreadsheets. This included collecting specific, important information related to different children who had been sponsored and helped by ACT.

I did some work on the “Heads or Tails” game board which ACT has created. The game features two different pathways of a child’s life in Africa. In one pathway the child goes to school and is like any other children. In the second pathway the child is disadvantaged and has to work to help support their family. It is a really clever idea as it creatively informs both children and adults about the difficult challenges which some children across Africa experience throughout their life. It also helps to teach people about how different people live and their cultures. My interaction with this game involved me creating a completely different pathway which features a child in the UK who growing up goes to school, then gets to work and eventually sponsors a child from one of the two pathways in Africa. In doing this it instantly created in my mind a clear difference between the life of a person in an advanced country and in a less developed country. This game helps to inform people about young, vulnerable children in Africa and how they are forced to go through hardships and face troubles from very early in their life.

Another task I had was to design posters that display and promote the different projects and events that ACT is carrying out. One such is the Ulemu project which provide menstrual education and sanitary materials for school girls in some African countries, so that their education is not affected or cut short because they lack menstrual pads and other sanitary materials. I used a professional, online design platform to create the posters and leaflets.  I also learnt about creating tweets and prepared some which may be used on the ACT twitter page in the future.

These are only a few of the various activities and tasks which I completed that made my work experience at ACT fun and enjoyable.

The staff were very welcoming and kind to me and made me feel like I had an actual job. I’m thankful for the great work experience which I had with ACT and I hope to do it again sometime in the future.


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