Focus on Fellows
S. Welsh Consulting
Resource Person – 2010-2018
For Shona Welsh, a Resource Person for the UNITAR Afghanistan Fellowship Programme, the most rewarding part of her role is feeling like she’s given Afghan leaders practical skills to help improve their country.
Shona runs her own consulting firm, S. Welsh Consulting, which offers training and expertise on public speaking and intrepreneurship (innovation within an existing company). She described her job as working with organizations to create innovative and change-friendly cultures and training leaders to find their voice through public speaking.
Shona became involved in the Afghanistan Fellowship Programme slightly by chance. A former Resource Person mentioned to Shona’s husband that they were looking for a replacement and asked if he knew anyone who would be interested.
That was back in 2010. Shona said the programme’s curriculum was much the same then, but there were a greater number of Fellows – around 50 per cycle. It was easier for them to attend web seminars because the security situation was better then. Originally, Shona gave webinars on training and organizational development, and in 2013 she was invited to lead sessions on communication and change management at Workshop III in Japan. This year, Shona also began sharing videos on good public speaking with the Fellows.
Although Shona finds her work with the programme rewarding and inspiring, she said she sometimes feels helpless about the security situation in Afghanistan and about not being able to assist the Fellows as much as she might want to.
When asked about standout projects or Fellows, Shona recalled a “fantastic” project plan from a few years ago to create tent schools for children all over Afghanistan. She remembered that the group showed a short video clip during their presentation in which children said they have no place to study, no supplies, and want to learn so that they can serve their country – the effect was incredibly moving and made for a compelling pitch. Another Fellow embraced the ideas of social entrepreneurship and, independent from the Fellowship, created a programme to get funding for students and send dropouts back to school.
The UNITAR Hiroshima Office is grateful to Shona for her many years of invaluable support to the Afghanistan Fellowship Programme.