Posted on September 13, 2019
Comments Off on Giving Back – Emily and Jamie are going back to University
Many people would like to give back to society, particularly if they find a cause that is close to their hearts. At ACT we actively encourage and provide opportunities for young people to gain experience of international development through our very popular internship programme. Many have found this to be a good way both to learn and develop their skills and also to give back.
In this blog, we feature two of our interns who spent time with us over the summer working in our Communications team and who sadly have come to the end of their internship. However, we are pleased that they moving on to advance their academic knowledge and gain further qualifications. So here they have provided an update of their experience of internship at ACT and their next steps.
After graduating from University I was unsure what I wanted to do with myself – but I knew I wanted to learn more about International Development and about the continent of Africa, which I felt I did not know enough about… even failing to name a good few of the countries that make up the continent.
I have always felt a vocation to work or volunteer in an area where I hoped to reduce inequality, whether it is wealth, race, gender or other issues. I have had some experience of volunteering with charities whose work is UK based, so when I saw the advertisement for a position at ACT (African Child Trust) I eagerly applied.
I have been an intern with ACT for about four months and have learnt a lot about how a relatively small charity is run. I have been inspired by the personal stories of the women and children the charity is helping in Africa and have sincerely and consciously taken stock of how lucky I was to be born into a country where I have access to a good education and other opportunities in life. Reading about, and looking at pictures of the work ACT has been doing in Africa in the Period Poverty (Ulemu) project – educating girls and women and providing sanitary products – has given me a new found appreciation of the affordability of these products and the convenience of Boots Pharmacy and it’s not something I will take for granted again.
Since day dot, everyone I met who is involved with the organisation has been unfailingly friendly, and genuinely interested in who I am and what I want to do. ACT Director, Kunle had made it clear that as an organisation ACT is not only interested in what you can do for them, but also what they can do for you. Both he and Diana, the Office manager, have given me invaluable sage words of advice on so many topics, from camping to job applications and further education.
I am now sadly leaving ACT to start a Master’s course at UCL. I truly am sad to leave, but I know that I will stay part of the ACT community and hope to lend my hand again in the future!
Since joining ACT as an intern in May, I have been involved in using social media to communicate our work and the underlying message of ACT’s outreach to disadvantaged children and widows in Africa through the various projects ACT is carrying out. A particular highlight of my work at ACT was working with the director on our application and submissions for the 2019 Croydon Business Excellence Award (Charity and Social Enterprise), for which we have been shortlisted as finalist for the award which will be announced at a grand gala dinner and charity ball on 3rd October. I am hoping for the best for ACT. I am also pleased with my contributions to the social media work, particularly Twitter, which I helped to grow, adding 50-60 new followers in the last four months. Overall, I feel my contribution has been positive and has helped the communications and marketing strategy of ACT. I will miss working at ACT, but I am starting a Master’s degree in Asian Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) which will occupy my time instead.
ACT is a volunteer led charity and we are indebted to people like Emily and Jamie and everyone who has offered their time, enthusiasm and knowledge, enabling us to further our cause and help the people otherwise forgotten. Our Communications and Marketing team work hard to raise awareness of our work and highlight our successes.
If you would like to find out about internship or volunteering with ACT please click here.