Farewell to Renske den Exter & welcome to Wakkerstroom!
Renske den Exter, who served as an intern at the WOW Project Coordination Unit (PCU) in Ede, The Netherlands from November 2008 to March 2009 has begun her second phase of her internship at the WOW Demonstration Site in Wakkerstroom, South Africa.
Over the course of her internship at the PCU she supported the project in many ways and was fully integrated in the PCU team. As part of her internship, she conducted a comprehensive review of WOW communication efforts and helped organise several international meetings, including the presentation of the WOW project at the Ninth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS COP9) which took place 1-5 December 2008 in Rome, Italy.
In addition to assisting the PCU with the organisation of these meetings and with a wide range of other tasks, she also worked closely with the WOW Communication Officer on the development of an online survey on WOW Communications which she conducted in the context of her University research project for Van Hall-Larenstein University of Applied Sciences entitled "Evaluation of the communication efforts of the Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) Project - solutions for enhanced communication".
The report represents a extensive analysis of the implementation of the WOW Communication Strategy to date and includes a set of useful recommendations as to how communication efforts could be enhanced in future.
We would like to take this opportunity to once again thank her for all the support she gave to the project during her internship and wish her much success and all the best for the future!
Before leaving for South Africa, where she will be assisting in the development of a water education programme for the wetland areas around the town of Wakkerstroom, she sent the following message to the wider WOW Project team:
Farewell letter from Renske den Exter:
From November till the end of March I was lucky to be intern at the WOW Project Coordination Unit. I had the chance to work on and learn from a range of different tasks. My biggest task was the evaluation of the communication efforts of the WOW Project. Hopefully the report I made in this context provides practical solutions to the core WOW-team to enhance communication and thereby contributes to the achievements of WOW’s ambitious goals. The making of the evaluation report was a wonderful process. It was amazing to see the high response on the general survey. Also the telephone interviews and surveys to the project partners were very interesting. Aside from this evaluation I did a lot of other ‘communication tasks’. In my last weeks I started with the coordination of the new WOW annual publication “Flyway conservation at work”. I am looking forward to seeing the document when it is ready. And of course I will never forget the CMS/COP 9 in Rome. At the WOW exhibition stand I was busy explaining the project to people from Finland to Haiti. Even Radio Cameroon came by to do a small interview! It was wonderful to be part of such a big international conference. Small tasks during my internship entailed some website work, writing progress-stories on the Demonstration Sites and Regional Centres and the logistics for the Side Event and the WOW team-meeting in March. If I had more time, I would love to do a lot more work for this amazing project. And in some way I will, albeit not at the PCU. In less than two weeks I will be in South Africa for the second part of my internship. The plan is to work on a water education programme in the beautiful wetland area of Wakkerstroom. I am really looking forward to this new challenge! After that I will continue my bachelor (and after that my master) in Environmental Science. For me this internship was perfect. Not only because of the challenging work but also because of all the very interesting people from all over the world I met. I felt directly part of a very broad team and would like to thank everybody for the wonderful months!
Renske den Exter
Ede, March 2009
Renske den Exter can be reach at the following email: [email protected]