I’m Katrien from Belgium, I’m 23 years old and I study Business Communication. For my internship, I was convinced that I wanted to use my skills where help is much needed. I had quite some experience already doing volunteer work and I enjoyed it a lot. Therefore, I wanted to continue helping out. Also, I was hoping to be able to combine my internship with travelling and discovering a new culture. Thanks to Roots, I quickly found an organization that matched with my personality and interests. Luckily, Projekt Ubuntu was willing to welcome me for 6 weeks for a marketing & communications internship in Cape Town!
The Ubuntu center
I loved how we created our own structure at the Ubuntu center: start off with a work-out, cool down with some yoga and then do an activity. We tried to vary as much as possible in the activities. Sometimes we did active games or dancing, sometimes we sang songs. It was great to see how the kids knew songs from other countries that the volunteers taught them. It’s a beautiful intercultural experience. On other days we did arts and crafts: Play-Doh, making bracelets and airplanes, … We also focused on learning: we did puzzles, taught them how to properly wash their hands, … The kids give you a lot of love and they spread so much joy. They don’t have much, yet they smile. That is a value I took home with me: be happy with the little things in life.
Apart from spending time at the centers, I helped Candi, Projekt Ubuntu’s manager, manage the project and the volunteer house called Yoga Shala. I showed the new volunteers around, created a welcome brochure, designed posters for events, … I enjoyed running Projekt Ubuntu’s social media: it’s a lot of fun to keep everyone updated on what we’re doing with the kids, while at the same time getting the project out there and reach as many people as possible. A big part of my internship was the fundraising. I learned how to contact a company to ask for funds for solar panels. I also started my own fundraising campaign, which was very successful! I raised €2.045! It makes me so happy that I can help the community in these difficult times and actually even save lives. They’re using the money to deliver hygiene products and food boxes to households in the townships.
Exploring Cape Town
Getting to know Cape Town was amazing. We stayed quite far from the city center, but that didn’t stop me from exploring a lot. A few highlights were my safari (I walked with elephants!), Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, paragliding, the Botanical Gardens, the Vineyards, the Cape of Good Hope, Boulder’s Beach and all the other beautiful beaches, the Waterfront, … and so on. Also, how I miss all the amazing food markets in Cape Town…
Have a look at where I stayed: My amazing accommodation called “Yoga Shala”.
Spreading the Ubuntu value
I would definitely recommend Roots’ internships to any student. I already have, actually! I received many messages already from people asking me how I organized my internship because they’re interested in doing something similar. That’s also one of the reasons why I wanted to write this blogpost: to inspire others. Projekt Ubuntu is such an amazing initiative. I want everyone to experience the African “Ubuntu” value: humanity.
Have a look at the other three lovely internship opportunities at Projekt Ubuntu:
Youth Social Work Internship
NGO Event Management Internship
I couldn’t be more thankful for the many wonderful people I met, all from different countries but with the same goal: making the world a little bit better. <3