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Introducing myself

19 April, 2024 | Anna Self
Categories: CO2balance

Hi! I’m Anna, I started at CO2balance as a Carbon Project Officer in April. I’ll be working on the Vita Ethiopia project with Matt, Zach, and Rebecca. I’m looking forward to working with the whole Vita team in Ireland and Ethiopia. My background is in the non-profit international development sector as well as in humanitarianism, and international environmental journalism.

Like lots of us here at CO2balance, I studied Geography for my undergraduate degree. After that I worked in Greece in 2019 for an organisation called Refugee4refugees who provided support to the thousands of refugees arriving in Europe. I worked in Samos refugee camp which was home to 5000 refugees at the time. We distributed emergency donations to people who were waiting for their asylum applications to be processed. The experience was difficult but rewarding and I met some amazing people, some of whom were fleeing their country because of conflict, or because of climate change. I came home feeling a little helpless but also wanting to dedicate my time to addressing the root cause of this displacement.

A building with a van and cardboard boxes
Sorting donations at a warehouse near the camp in Samos, Greece

After returning home I decided to work for a Bristol based NGO called Temwa who worked on water, education, and reforestation projects in in rural Malawi. One of their fundraising streams came from their own Carbon Balancing programme which is where I was first exposed to climate financing. A year later I started my masters in International Development with Conflict and Humanitarianism which I loved and allowed me to apply all the lessons I’d learnt in the field, to academic theory.

people standing in front of a blue wall holding a sign reading Temwa
Temwa supporters cycled from Snowdonia to Bristol to fundraise for Temwa’s activities in Malawi

In 2021, I started working for the Earth Journalism Network who worked with journalists in countries where funding for environmental story telling was non-existent. We provided training and grants to journalists who covered important issues such as the COP conferences and their countries’ transitions to Net Zero. I was lucky enough to travel to Thailand and Nairobi to carry out these trainings and met journalists from all over the world, opening my eyes to all sorts of local environmental issues. Reporting on the climate conferences was a particularly exciting element of the job and allowed me to learn more about climate financing and Carbon credits.

A group of people stand on a track with trees in the background
A training workshop in Nairobi with the Earth Journalism Network

Before coming to co2balance, I took time off work and  travelled in central America where I attempted to learn Spanish in Nicaragua, and accidentally joined a children’s ultimate frisbee team in Medellin, Colombia. After returning to the UK, I was excited to appreciate the beautiful countryside here and embarked upon a ramble from Edinburgh back home to Bristol. My small tent, The Pennine Way and Offa’s Dyke became my home for a few months and after a few hundred miles and many blisters, I made it home and was more than ready to settle down. That’s how I ended up at CO2balance! In my spare time, I love to be outdoors either hiking, swimming or cycling! I’m also a massive bookworm and always happy to talk about books!

 

Stopping to enjoy the view on the Pennine Way