A Summer Whirlwind at Best Beginnings

The opportunity to work remotely for Best Beginnings from Sri Lanka is an enriching but challenging experience. That feeling of home and sense of belonging is one that I value and hold close to me. So, as I made my way to London to spend 3 months with a team that I feel close to but hadn’t really shared a physical space with, I was nervous. The nerves also probably stemmed from the multiple conferences and meetings that were lined up as learning and sharing opportunities for me woven with points to test my ability and skill as a researcher and practitioner. 

But little did I know how enriching those three months would be. Best Beginnings has grown into a space where you feel heard, valued and appreciated, which is something I look for actively in Sri Lanka but rarely find. 

I spent the first phase of my trip travelling to conferences, meetings some amazing people and sharing our work on through posters, presentations and meaningful deep conversations. While we discussed inequalities and inequities in child and maternal healthcare, draw comparisons to global learnings and explore the world of digital health and community development, I got to bond with the team a little better too. They were no longer on a screen, but in front of me telling me bits about London, their life experiences and joking about how I can only drink one cider. I am still “One Cider Perera” (un)fortunately! 

As a global health researcher, my 12 weeks in London was a dream come true. I was able to deepen my learning and explore intersectionality through a different lens. But as a person, I feel more connected to one of the most passionate/driven teams I have worked with which has had a profound impact in how I work and navigate the various challenges.  Thank you for having me, for the doggy cuddles, the enriching meetings and conversations and the true kindness you extend to everyone you work with. 

 - Nilushka Perera, Evaluation and Impact Lead