This is Everything You Need to Know about NGO Internships in Africa
By Moira Callahan
Why Should I Look at NGO internships in Africa?
A reason besides the international travel, the valuable work experience, and being able to tell your friends about your kick-butt internship that no one else will have? Most importantly, NGO internships give you the opportunity to make lasting change to underserved communities. Africa has numerous human rights issues that need your help, so it is ripe for the picking in terms of countries in need.
On a practical note, yes, interning with nonprofit organizations stands out on a resume. Employers are able to see your passion for the work, your commitment for meaningful change, and your courage to step outside your comfort zone. Your future employer can ask about the various hats you wore at your organization, because you’ll be able to take on a variety of tasks from fundraising, social media, communication, etc.
In addition to that, doing any kind of internship before entering the workforce can only help you. In fact, it seems that more and more employers are expecting incoming candidates to have practical work experience on their resume. Even if you’re not planning on continuing a career in the nonprofit sector, a NGO internship is still beneficial for you as your earned skills are highly transferable. Our interns are able to work independently, take initiative, and remain flexible. All of these acquired skills are valuable to an employer from any industry.
How to choose which internship is right for you
What are you passionate about? If you’re a student, you have or will pick a college major that aligns with your future career interests. But maybe you don’t want an internship inside your major, maybe you’re passionate about photography or creative writing or environmentalism! Or maybe you’re not concerned with one area of interest, because you haven’t figured it out yet.
All of these options are okay. After all, internships are for learning and growing before committing to a full time job in that area of study. Do you think you might want to become a lawyer, but not sure if you want to go to law school? You can check out our Advocacy and Human Rights internship that gives legal advice to refugees. Are you thinking about joining the business major at your university? You can check out our Business Development Internships to see if you’re up for it. Whatever you’re interested in, we have an internship for it. And if we don’t, feel free to get in contact with us! We might be able to come up with a solution!
Expectations vs. Reality of going abroad
Okay, we all dream of jet setting off to a foreign country, especially now. But there are some practicalities to think about before boarding that plane. Luckily, we guide you through the whole process- finding the cheapest flights, getting travel insurance, acquiring a visa, funding your trip, everything. At Roots, we understand that you’re taking a leap of faith if you’ve never taken a trip to Africa before, and we get it! We are committed to making your experience abroad as easy as possible.
In addition to our detailed information available on our website, you can read intern testimonials for yourself! We would also be happy to put you in touch with a past intern. As a previous intern, they have been through the whole process and can be a helpful resource for any questions, comments, or concerns you may have. Just let us know what type of internship you are interested in, and we will happily put you in touch with a previous intern from that organization.
Do you still have reservations about going abroad? That is okay! Although more and more people are getting vaccinated every day, we understand if people are still uncomfortable with international travel. That is why we have a range of remote internships that you can do from the comfort of your home!
While we know it’s not as exciting, remember that doing a nonprofit internship at home has these benefits:
- Your start and end dates can be flexible
- You will emit less carbon emissions from planes and cars which is always good for our planet
- You will be learning how to use a wide range of digital tools- Google Suite, Zoom, Wordpress, etc.
- You will still be gaining the same valuable work experience but from the comfort of your own home
- You will be saving money- including transportation costs, visa and insurance costs, weekend activities costs
- You will be able to have flexibility for other jobs, maybe you want to work a part time job on the weekends or work on a side project
Applying for an internship
Applying for any of our internships is the easy part!
Follow these simple steps for success:
1. Research your internship
Find out your area of interest, and research the organization, the country, what you’ll be doing with us, and how this can help with you with your future endeavors. Also take a look at our requirements list on the internship listing; some have more specific requirements and some do not.
2. Talk to the parents/university
Assuming you’re a student, make sure your parents and university or college give permission. Some universities will even give you academic credit for the internship.
3. Contact us!
Get in touch with us on our website, and we’ll do the rest! Our fee covers finding you the right internship, processing your booking, helping you prepare for your experience, and assisting you on the ground.
4. Get ready for the experience of a lifetime!
Pack your bags! Oh, and tag us in your amazing pictures and brag about us to your friends and colleagues. We’re online on Instagram, Facebook, and Linkedin, as @rootsinterns.
Although our team at Roots knows that you will have an amazing time during your internship, you don’t have to take our word for it! We have made it a priority to receive feedback from our past interns, in order to benefit our future interns and improve our program. We are so fortunate to have such hard working individuals, and their triumphs are reflected in our testimonials.
Learn all about our interns and their adventures here!
- Jordan, former Penda intern
- “I think the most memorable part of this internship was all the incredible people I got to connect with! The past couple of months of the COVID-19 pandemic have been a bit isolating. Getting to have weekly calls with my other interns and supervisor made me feel as if I was part of a little community. Even though we weren’t in the same physical space, we all connected on a personal and work level. Those connections were amazing and quickly became my favorite part of my internship!”
- Bailey, former Scalabrini Centre intern
- “Exactly that: The feeling of knowing that my work here has an actual impact. Giving gives one so much more than taking. The biggest fulfillment is to know that someone found a job and can stay in the country, because I found a placement for them and guided them along the way. Moreover, the team at work and the vibe in the center made my internship so enjoyable: Everyone is nice and treats everybody with respect.”
- Abdul, former Greenpop intern
- “Through the Creative Writing Internship, I got to understand the importance of storytelling in marketing. I’m unable to describe my supervisor, Zoe, with anything less than amazing. She was extremely helpful and understanding of any difficulties I faced throughout my internship. I also learned a lot about SEO, which I feel is crucial for attracting traffic to any organization’s website. The employees at Greenpop were fantastic. They were these young, driven, and intelligent people who were always available to help me with anything. I became very good friends with some of the employees at Greenpop.”