Opening Doors in 2009


Francis Kahembwe and Sarah Boyack at the start of the Opening Doors shadowing programme which ends with three more days in Holyrood.

Francis Kahembwe returns to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday to finish the shadowing programme he started last year. But  Opening Doors will not be closing. During the coming year we hope to continue  the interesting new direction Francis has helped us to take. And that is where you could come in…

When Francis  filled his application form for Opening Doors 2008 he noted a special interest in shadowing politicians who take an active part in shaping environmental policy. So we set out to create a shadowing programme that would fit the bill.

Now we have acquired a taste for it. This year Opening Doors can offer placements for people with special interest in health, education, trade unions and environment. And if there is any other issue you feel strongly about, well, we are open to other ideas too.

“I want to acquire knowledge and awareness on how politics impact on the environment and then learn how to use that knowledge to influence environmental policy.”

Since May 2008 Francis has been able to explore the subject from two sides: going inside the Scottish Parliament to see how decisions are made and then working with the Scottish environmental lobbying group LINK to find out how they set out to influence those decisions. He also gave a talk to Friends of the Earth on climate change and Africa.

Now Francis  concludes his tailor-made shadowing programme by rejoining Sarah Boyack MSP for three final days at Holyrood starting on Tuesday 13 January at 9.30 am! Then we will all get together to find out what each of us has learned from the experience.

As ever, we will keep you posted.

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