In the midst of this chilly Cape Town weather, if i could… said goodbye to five interns who spent the last three months supporting non-profit organisations in South Africa’s rapidly growing development sector. Their valuable expertise, memorable internships and good times in Cape Town demonstrate the key to the if i could… programme. Together with our interns, we support our host organisations to bring about change and sustainability.
Sarah, who just completed her internship with women’s organisation, shared “Thank you so much for the amazing experience you gave me in Cape Town. Everything from the intern outings to my interaction with each and every one of you is something I will treasure forever. Being here, through this programme, has helped me grow and taught me so much.”
A unique way to make a difference
What makes the if i could… programme unique is that we tailor-make internships to give you valuable work experience. In addition, you can build your resume, and provide a cultural and life-enriching experience. We aren’t for students looking to party during their semester abroad. Instead, we give international students a taste of life in another country. At the same time, you work with organisations that make a difference and address poverty and community development.
“if i could… offers experience that is not just about observation or shadowing. It’s a hands-on experience that involves significant responsibilities and a relatively high degree of capacity-building supervision and support. We have found that carefully targeted internships are the most beneficial for both our interns and host organisations,” says Director Lindy Briginshaw.
A diverse team
if i could… has a diverse team who are passionate about human development and work with purpose to strengthen and support South Africa’s vibrant development sector. And this passion for development is not only confined to South Africa! We are now offering internships in New Delhi, India! Our team members have also traveled to various countries in support of development projects, and to study and volunteer. We know what it’s like to live outside your comfort zone and push yourself to the limit professionally!
And in the midst of challenging workdays, we also know it’s important to explore and have fun! For this reason, if i could… offers a wide variety of fun and cultural activities. We provide language classes and awesome intern outings every Friday afternoon. Our language classes are designed to help you get around and interact with your host organisation. A great opportunity for interns to get to know each other and the community better. These casual lessons also enhance the value of cultural exchange in our internship programme.
A little bit of fun goes a long way
Intern outings are organised for both staff and interns. So while we are exploring, we also get to know each other and offer you advice about your internship and future career. Some of our favourite intern outings include: local film screenings like the recent Marikana massacre documentary “Miners Shot Down”, World Design Capital 2014 activities such as the bustling Langa Quarter, community marathons like the Colour Run, Winelands cycling tours, visits to Cape Town’s many museums, a trip up Table Mountain and last but not least, a ferry ride to the historic Robben Island (where South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela was imprisoned).
While we naturally attract students and graduates who are interested in development and international relations, we don’t limit our programme by academic path or age. We know well that NGOs also benefit greatly from the skills and expertise of those who have studied in other fields. Such as marketing, financial planning, human resources, and organisational and community development.
Our last intern to leave us, Camille, shared this before we said goodbye, “I am returning home knowing that I have contributed meaningfully to the development sector in Cape Town, while also building my resume and gaining valuable work experience that will hopefully propel me into a long-term career that makes a difference.”