Monday - Why did I agree to speak at the 'bring your parents' assembly at my children's school? Talking about climate change at a meeting of 200 representatives from Methodist churches across Whitby over the weekend was much less daunting. Half a dozen six-year-olds dressed as Ethiopian farmers run around the hall gleaning crops to counter the effects of deforestation.
Tuesday - I spend the day sorting out recruitment challenges. Three key staff members are leaving and the impact on our team of 12 will be significant. It can be difficult to attract quality applicants - not least because the 'M' in MRDF can put people off. They don't realise that it denotes our history and primary supporter base rather than the partners or projects we support.
Wednesday - The auditors are in, so I start my morning by directing them towards the staff members who are most likely to be able to respond to their many queries. They are asking for a more quantitative approach to the annual report. I highlight the extensive feedback from our partners on their increased impact in the field and on their satisfaction levels with our partnership, and prepare to do battle. The auditors capitulate.
Thursday - There are problems on the London-Cambridge rail line - an increasingly frequent occurrence, it seems. I sit seething that I am spending time neither with the family, nor at my desk. After a delayed start to a meeting about our response to the drought in Ethiopia, I rush to a meeting coordinated by Bond, the network of UK-based NGOs working in international development. There are some good networking opportunities - I benefit from the coffee break as much as the session itself. A phone call on my journey home gives me a high - our application for funding for a project to empower street children in Bangladesh has been successful.
Friday - I spend the first hour of the day playing literacy games in my daughter's class. I'm not supposed to work on Fridays, but I spend the next few hours answering queries from the auditor and signing off the annual review. I've left just enough time to make flapjacks for my son's class cake stall. As we wander home from school, passing parents make quips about Ethiopian farmers. After a precious bath-bed routine, I resist logging back on to my emails and reach instead for a large glass of wine.
- MDRF provides humanitarian aid and education in impoverished communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America.