Blogs

A wholesome online WetSkills SA experience

W@tskills South Africa 2021 by Sbusiso Khuboni, Kimara Moodley (South Africa), Mpho Ramothole (South Africa) & Paul Notenboom (Netherlands)   The first day was of course not like the usual offline event, we met ‘online’… not in the DMs but everyone’s video was all ready for on fleek first impressions. A diverse group of participants.   [caption id="attachment_58156" align="alignleft" width="300"] Plenary session[/caption] Mixing business with pleasure… All participants were excited and eager to experience this different kind of WetSkills SA Challenge. As soon as cases were introduced, the enthusiasm was not as 100% as the morning of the first day hahahaha – some landed on cases they prayed hard not to get.     For most of the days, it was serious business packed with literature review, brainstorming and sharing of ideas all in the aim to find solutions to the cases… Work and deliverables piled up; but the afternoon to evening social chills did help to unwind and be...

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And the winner is…

W@tskills South Africa 2021 by Karabo Mokoena,  Thandilizwe Bengeza (South Africa). Zintle Mbeka (South Africa) and Wessel de Beer (Netherlands),   8th of March: D-day!   The tension was there from the moment everyone woke up: it was D-day. In terms of tension, it was nothing like D-day in 1944, but it was very close to the D-days that mark the end of international soccer transfer periods. The day began with a little speech from one of our supervisors, Phomolo.   [caption id="attachment_58171" align="alignleft" width="300"] Phomolo is a supporter of Manchester United and he is not afraid to show it.[/caption]   As a Manchester United supporter, he is used to dealing with the stress that D-days bring.           The assignment was clear: finish the pitch, the poster, and the paper. After a very enjoyable week, it was suddenly clear again that we were competing. And when the excitement is at its highest… everything goes wrong. Imagine completely changing the poster you were working...

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Getting close to the end, the temperature and pressure rise.

W@tskills South Africa 2021 by Mashila Phihlela, Lutendo Nemayhola (South Africa), Tshepang Kgositau (South Africa) and Gerben van Muiswinkel (The Netherlands)   Day 8: Hard work and loosening up in the social We worked on the feedback we received from the meetings on Thursday. Getting the focus right in the reports and posters proved difficult for some of the groups, but with the help of the supervisors and good discussions all teams got there. The Social meeting lasted 4 hours and we had some good fun over some drinks and our WhatsApp chat exploded with GIF images and stickers. Our friendly, not so friendly, South African supervisor defied the current hot weather conditions of the country during our morning plenary session.   Day 9: From hangovers to being grilled by supervisors We were guided through our learning process by His Lordship Lindelwa. He was full of energy and showed us how to build a poster in no time. We continued...

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“Not entirely virtual, Field trip involved”

W@tskills South Africa 2021 by Sharon Setshedi, Masha Makgwale, Wendy Dube (South Africa) and Sebastiaan Haverkate ( Netherlands)   Day 5: Communication style - Pitch & Poster                                 On the fifth day of the Wetskills competition, we were launched into the program with a cheerful reflection session. In the session, our supervisors (facilitated by Phomolo Khonthu) asked us to reflect on whether assigned groups were working well and if we had a good understanding of the cases we were working on. The session was then followed by a presentation done by Ms Nobulali Mtikitiki from the Department of Water and Sanitation on bursaries in the water sector. The presentation was very informative and gave insight on the available opportunities. We were then trained by our supervisors (Ioana Dobrescu and Peter de Jong) on how to present an effective 2-minute pitch as well as creating a winning poster. A creative presentation accompanied this training session, and this made...

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Virtual Challenge: Is it as fun as an offline event….?

W@tskills South Africa 2021 by Nkhensani Tshidzumba, Awodwa Magingi, Lindelwa Ndhlovu (South Africa) Janne Brouwers and Renate Heemskerk (Netherlands)   25th of February: Name Pronunciation! Unfortunately we didn't start our journey in the car or plane to meet each other; we met online and started to know each other a little bit better. “HI EVERYONE” Everybody introduces themselves with a picture and in the meanwhile the energy of Odwa Ntsika Mtembu (one of the supervisors) is blowing through our screens. The participants were allocated the case studies and were able to meet their members for the first time. [caption id="attachment_58106" align="alignright" width="321"] Plenary- Trying to pronounce different names[/caption] How do these look like?! You will see some awesome pics below. Sometimes you will see the joy but also the serious approach and listening style is visible on our faces! We also talked with our case owners. So many ideas were shared, that at the end, your head was spinning...

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The day after

Wetskills Netherlands 2020- by Olaf Koster, University of Melbourne   Today was the day after the end of the 10 day workshop week of Wetskills. Some of the group had already left last night but for those of us that stayed the extra night, we woke up for the last time in our jail hostel. I woke up early in the morning content knowing that the last 10 days were a great success. I learned a lot about the water sector in Leeuwarden, met a lot of great and interesting people and had ample networking opportunities. Looking back on yesterday, I felt our pitch and poster were a success and our case owners, Jeanette and Jan were pleased with our work. So much in fact that they brought the poster with them. Our menu idea was also quite interesting for the jury panel; we had great questions. To us as a group, the...

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Game day! The finals of Wetskills!

Wetskills Netherlands 2020- by Duco Bijleveld, Wageningen University   What can we expect at the finals? [caption id="attachment_57831" align="alignright" width="225"] The finals are about to begin![/caption] The main event is the pitch of our three teams who present their innovative ideas for the jury and audience. The main topic of today is of course: water! It is quite unique that we can host this event in Corona-times. And for 2020 most Wetskills have been cancelled due to the corona virus. That is why this event is special. As the first event for Wetskills since Corona began, we have created a big online event. People at home can follow the live stream. Jury members and keynote speakers sit behind their laptop and were able to speak on a big screen to the people present at the event. Great to see how we can adapt with technology!     The added value of Wetskills? Wetskills is all about connecting people in...

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The end draws nigh!!

Wetskills Netherlands 2o2o- by Gladys Mutahi, Wetsus Academy   [caption id="attachment_57842" align="alignright" width="300"] Team 2 working hard to polish up on the deliverables.[/caption] It’s almost a wrap at the Wetskills The Netherlands 2020. The good men say the early bird catches the worm and for our team, every last minute of the almost last day counts. Time to get that paper and poster a last polish. Though we were all spent from all the early mornings and late nights (mostly doing fun activities) it was interesting to see the team with the same motivation and energy on the last day as the first day. The deadlines have to be met, and as such we put our best foot forward, every idea counts!!   [caption id="attachment_57843" align="alignleft" width="300"] participants enjoying some sun and fun corona proof way[/caption] Its afternoon, the official bonding time with other participants. This is usually a good time to let out the pressure of...

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Fun Sunday

Wetskills Netherlands 2020- by Marvin Ouma, Wetsus Academy       [caption id="attachment_57816" align="alignright" width="300"] From Left to right Olaf, Dan & Bram taking a break from morning work to pose for a photo[/caption] The day began with nice sunshine, a promising sign of a great day. I had breakfast at the Alibi hostel with other members of the program also joining. The teams had retreated into fine tuning the posters and pitches taking into account the feedback received during the presentations from the previous day. Each team also worked on writing reports for the group case. This was done according to each team schedule and planning.           [caption id="attachment_57817" align="alignleft" width="300"] Marvin (In the Middle) during demonstration visit  to the Ameland station for treatment drinking water[/caption] In the afternoon, Bram and I made a trip to Ameland for a meeting with representatives from Vitens. The meeting agenda included presentation of group case to vitens, review of the current...

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Our garden pitch!

Wetskills Netherlands 2020, by Sarahi Garcia Garcia Villa, Wetsus Academy   We started our day visiting the library to prepare our pitches and posters. After 3 hours of intense and fun work, we were ready to present our ideas aloud for THE FIRST TIME!   We arrived at the prison garden (it was better than it sounds), and between the sun and flowers, we started introducing each other as a group to continue with the pitches. My team was the first one to present and we were a little bit nervous because we did not practice that much but the feedback that we received was really helpful.       It was really nice to see other group´s pitches and posters. We gave feedback and after a small talk we went to eat to continue polishing our work.   I invited my team (because of the 6 people policy) to my house to work and to eat pancakes. Quite interesting options,...

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