Sheila Halder, Farming Systems Manager, and has been working with Send a Cow since 1997, eventually becoming a full time, permanent member of staff in 2015. She has travelled extensively to many of our country programmes.
What does your job involve?
Lots of different things! A lot is building up skills and capacity in staff, and sometimes directly with Peer Farmers, across the Country programmes. I particularly work on supporting technical staff for crop, vegetable and animal production to have a good understanding of the principles we work by, for example sustainable agriculture, and how these work out in practice.
I also give quite a bit of support to staff and whole country field teams on participatory methods of community assessment, project design and implementation. I am particularly keen on supporting staff and farmers to learn how to learn well – through reflective learning, discussion groups, peer to peer sharing and learning. I also have a responsibility for the quality oversight of our farm systems work in the field, helping farmers and communities reach their visions.
I was on the UK board of Send a Cow from 1997-2000; I worked in Send a Cow Uganda part time for around 6 years. I have done consultancies for Send a Cow UK during most of that time (2000-2015); during this time I worked in all the country programmes. From November 2015 I took up the full time Farm Systems Coordinator role, starting this full time in Kampala, but then transferring to be UK based in 2016 as the role developed.
What is the best place you have lived in?
It’s a really difficult question – Kampala is really ‘home’ in many ways, I was there for 15 years. Arua, Uganda, was amazing, but both the Isle of Wight (where I was born) and my current house in Somerset are special places!
What has been your worst journey?
I’ve had so many memorable ones: we spent a whole day by the side of a road in Uganda when we got TWO punctures within 10 miles; getting stuck in “The Beast” with Dan in Kenya due to mud – and that car ‘never’ gets stuck!
What do you miss most from home?
Apart from family members, I miss going hiking at weekends – that’s hard to do alone in most of our country programme areas. I don’t really miss much else as so much is available these days in capital cities.