Day 4 – Work experience at the WCIA

Today was filled with a mixed range of activities, which allowed me to get an idea of all of the different tasks that have to be carried out in the workplace. Following a mail merge on Excel yesterday, I started doing some administration work, fiddling around with the photocopier and sorting out the shipping of the ‘New World’ magazine that gets sent to all of the UNA members. It gave me a good idea of some of the office work that goes on, and I found it extremely beneficial as it was my first time carrying it out on such a large scale.

Luckily, I got given my own copy of the ‘New World’ magazine which I’m looking forward to taking home and reading afterwards, further developing my knowledge of the UN. After all this sorting of envelopes was finished, I helped out with several more administration tasks of different varieties, such as putting data into spreadsheets and trying to find alternate addresses for various companies.

As today was a really sunny day in Cardiff, the members of the international wing and I headed out for a picnic in Cathys park. This was a really fun way to get to know a bit more about the rest of the people working in the building, while also having the chance to taste the delicious food they shared with the group!

Once we arrived back at the Temple of Peace, I sat down to begin researching another topic to possibly write an article on. Susie, Chris, Manon (a volunteer) and I were all working in the office, and discussions soon began on a huge range of topics from migration to data protection. Although I mostly sat and listened, I found these extremely interesting as they not only broadened my knowledge but got me thinking about topics in a different way that I hadn’t before.

After this, I began reading an article on food security that made some really valid points about the challenges we’re facing. I liked the point that was made on poverty leading to hunger, but poverty also leading to population growth (probably due to factors such as a high infant mortality rate meaning women had more children so there was a higher chance of more making it to adulthood, or to have more children to look after them in their old age with the lack of social services), which then further leads to hunger.

So, ultimately the point is that reducing poverty would reduce the levels of hunger. There were again many shocking facts and figures in this report, such as 850 million out of 870 million hungry people in the world coming from developing countries, and that in the last five years, UK food prices have risen by 30%. I was surprised at the huge range of influencing factors there are on our food prices; crop supply, climate change, population growth, oil prices and global trade to name just a few.

I’ve really enjoyed today at the WCIA and found that it has broadened by knowledge on a vast range of topics!

Alicia Cooke is a student and volunteer at the WCIA