Going abroad: What does an internship in Africa look like?

With Welthungerhilfe everyday was an exciting and challenging day on the field.
With Welthungerhilfe everyday was an exciting and challenging day on the field.

My amazing internship experience with Welthungerhilfe Southern Africa region: in detail Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi came to an end last month. Since my return I have been telling endless stories of my work and my interactions to my friends back here in Berlin. The reason I have so many stories is that as a part of the marketing team I was on the field all the time experiencing everything done by Welthungerhilfe first-hand.

I started as intern in Zimbabwe – projects visits become a regular affair

Well it all happened one fine day in January. After spending a week in Harare office, getting oriented on the working of the organization and different projects currently underway, I got an opportunity to visit a project in Gokwe district – SIMBA Sustainable Intensification of Market Based Agriculture. Thereafter, be it Zimbabwe, Malawi or Mozambique, visiting project sites was a regular affair for me sometimes even five days a week.

The relationship didn’t end with the end of the project

What impressed me most was that at every project site I visited, people welcomed us (Welthungerhilfe team) with so much enthusiasm, dancing and singing. People used to sing welcome songs and sometimes they made (or modified) songs especially for our team, with lyrics containing word „Welthungerhilfe“ in it and thanking for its help. It was quite amazing. This was the indication of the goodwill shared by Welhungerhilfe and its employees in the eyes of beneficiaries. Every team member tried to be part of the lives of people she or he was serving. For example the field officers knew the names of almost everyone in the locality. The relationship didn’t end with the end of project. I visited some former project sites and people fondly remembered Welthungerhilfe’s contribution and people who worked there. There was a kind of positive legacy left behind.

This video shows how Welthungerhilfe teams were welcomed at the site in different countries:

Sometimes knowing about the good inspires to do good further

In a very short time I felt I am an important member of the whole team, thanks to the welcoming nature of my colleagues and their desire to help me out with my work.

I was talking to the beneficiaries and collecting their stories. I was covering the events and writing about them. I was taking the pictures and showing them to the world. There is a proverb which says “Do good and cast into river”. But sometimes knowing about the good inspires to do good further. In all I was trying to promote the work done by Welthungerhilfe family in the region, to the world  – in the hope that there will be more people willing to come forward and help the cause in any form: Money, time etc. Whenever I was back in office I also worked on some brochures and pamphlets.

This is how a little camera spotting used to turn into a Mayhem.

This is how a little camera spotting used to turn into a Mayhem.

There are lot´s of experiences from my project visits that still make me smile

There were some experiences from my project visits that still make me smile sometimes such as people being surprised that I am a vegetarian (or there is something called vegetarianism) or being followed by kids asking me to draw them (as they didn’t know the word camera) or being asked to marry some relative (only if I was willing to pay a dowry, as I was a man and as the tradition goes) or clicking pictures of public toilets in Malawi for my work and people looking at me as if I am out of my mind. Oh yes and like the “My favorite things” song from the movie “The Sound of Music” I too had few of my favorite things during my project trips such as a black t-shirt, a green t-shirt and a cap from Welthungerhilfe.

While I was with Welthungerhilfe in Southern Africa I never felt I was an Intern and I am there just for six months.

It only occurred after I returned to Berlin that my assignment was over and I need to move on with the other things already planned.

But I must say those six months with Welthungerhilfe in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique were one of the best professional and personal experiences of my life.

I am sure I will be recounting and telling my stories from my time with Welthungerhilfe even after decades from now. I hope many more be fortunate like me and experience this.


You are interested in an internship abroad? Gain work experience with Welthungerhilfe’s projects abroad.

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