Posted on May 17, 2019
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“All good things must come to an end”…
A familiar cliché, but one I know to be true from my time as an intern at the ACT office in Croydon, UK. In the five months I spent working in the role as Communications and Fundraising Intern, I learned and experienced many “good things”. It was a role in which I felt constantly challenged but supported by my wonderful colleagues, who are, without a doubt, amongst the nicest people I have ever met. Throughout my time interning for ACT I was greatly inspired by the dedication of the wonderful staff and volunteers that enable ACT to go from strength to strength. I can wholeheartedly say that interning for ACT was an enriching experience from start to finish.
I found ACT through my friend and previous ACT Communications Intern, Sophie, back in the autumn of last year (2018). From her, I learnt of the incredible work ACT does to support disadvantaged children, orphans and widows across eight countries of Africa. I was amazed and intrigued by one organisation’s capacity to make such a difference in the lives of thousands of people. Throughout the course of my BA English Literature degree, I had gravitated towards modules concerning the violation of human rights – particularly the experiences of women and children after decolonisation. Naturally, ACT’s vision to educate and ignite entrepreneurial spirit in the lives of the most disadvantaged women and children in Africa greatly interested me and made me want to learn more and get involved, if possible.
And it was possible! After 10 weeks of interning, Sophie’s time at ACT came to an end as she prepared to embark upon several months of travelling in warmer climes (Click here to read Sophie’s blog about her time at ACT). After a nomination from Sophie, I was invited to assume her role!
Joining the ACT team…
I was immediately enveloped in the warmth and friendliness that is the ACT team and set down to become familiar with my tasks, which involved creating and scheduling all the social media posts for each week, reviewing and contributing to the Communications schedule, researching blog themes, writing blog briefs and liaising with external blog writers to ensure the weekly blog was on track for publication each week. I loved the process of creating content and relished the time I dedicated to researching and writing blogs for ACT supporters to read.
From January of this year (2019), I was able to further develop in the Communications part of my role. At the start of every week, I tracked our engagement online by collecting data from our analytics (website and social media). I also became a more proficient user of Mailchimp, (an online marketing tool ACT use to send out their monthly ebulletin). Alongside these advances, I was given the chance to gain on-the-job experience of Funding. In my time at ACT I was grateful to have been tasked with writing a number of funding applications to both prospective and existing supporters, as well as the charity’s General Appeal. Looking back on these experiences, I feel very fortunate that I was given such unique responsibilities.
Working in this role, I became familiar with the importance of sharing the individual stories that shed light on the profound difference ACT is making in the lives of supported children, widows and whole communities who benefit from ACT-funded sustainable, community projects in health, sanitation and education. The follow up to these often deeply personal stories of love, longing and aspiration for a better life, that detail the extent to which their circumstances have improved, are a testament to the work ACT is doing. It is much needed. ACT is truly for the people otherwise forgotten.
I would recommend applying to be an ACT intern to all keen communicators and administrators with a passion for human rights and international development. A friendly team is ready to welcome you! Click here to visit ACT’s Careers page and apply!
I leave ACT with great admiration for all the incredible work that is being done to address poverty and social inequality in Africa. The Ulemu Project, which is working to end period poverty in Africa, is a project I hold particularly close to my heart.
You can make a difference in the lives of school girls across Africa by supporting ACT’s Ulemu Project Appeal. Click here to donate.