A varietal Experience with many Ways to Contribute and Grow

Julie had a great time in Cape Town during her Events Internship with Greenpop. She decided to return and this time joined another nonprofit for a Content Writing Internship. An internship that provided her with an ideal combination of creative and marketing writing practices.

I came to Penda on a content writing internship, focused on producing articles for the various blogs. My main goal was to further develop my writing skills. It was new for me to spend the workday researching and writing, but I enjoyed it right away. I love to learn and working with Penda exposed me to a broad spectrum of topics and industries.

Working on the Ibali Photo Collective

Perhaps one of my best moments was working on the Ibali Photo Collective. I came to Penda during the pilot stage of the collaborative project with local photographer, Dave Fisher; the goal being to teach NGO photography skills to high school students. Each Friday, my fellow intern and I would take the train from town to Muizenberg for the day. The train journey could be an adventure in itself; Cape Town’s metro rail is notoriously unreliable. We always managed to get where we needed to be if only delayed. We would often meet with our supervisor at one of the many coffee shops in the surfer town.

In the early afternoon, we would head to Muizenberg High School for the day’s workshop. Every week was different, sometimes there would be a lecture, sometimes a lesson from a guest photographer, and sometimes the students would be out photographing around Muizenberg. Towards the end, the students photographed the work of a few local NGOs and the program culminated with an exhibition of the students’ final work. It was exciting to participate in manifesting the culmination of the project. It was a proud moment for all involved. Off that momentum, we began working on taking the project to the next step.

Ibali workhop penda photography  Ibali workhop penda photography

Really understanding SEO

I also had the chance to attend some of Penda Trust photography projects. I joined African Impact volunteers working with Sporting Chance on their street sports tournament. Children were milling the street, spectators and participants alike. The air was buzzing the sound of children’s voices and coaches shouting instruction. Local photographer Samir Abdul, photographed the students during the tournament. Samir was right in the middle of the action, getting the best shots. It was an exciting afternoon, which I followed up with a piece on the work Sporting Chance is doing in township communities.

Read Julie’s blog on the work of Sporting Chance in township communities

When we weren’t adventuring around Cape Town for various projects, I spent my time in the office producing content for the various Penda blogs. For Penda Photo Tours, I wrote SEO articles around the photography tour destinations, photography highlights and general travel photography information. It was so interesting for me to do research and learn about the various topics I would write on. I also gained great experience working with SEO. I knew almost nothing about Search Engine Optimization before my internship and I left Penda feeling confident in my understanding of SEO and my ability to implement what I’ve learned effectively. The internship provided me with an ideal combination of creative and marketing writing practices.

More than creative writing

For Penda Trust, I wrote a few posts on the progression of the Ibali project, as well as other photography projects, as I mentioned earlier. The writing for Penda Trust was often from my personal experience or from a more journalistic approach. I appreciated the chance to write in a different way from the Penda Photo Tours articles. I also began to get more involved with fundraising for Penda Trust. It was beyond what I had anticipated from my internship, but once again, I was happy to learn. I was exposed to grant research, funding proposal writing and Google AdWords. It diversified my experience even more in gaining marketing and fundraising exposure too.

Creative writing Internship Julie  Creative writing Internship Julie

Beyond the work, I enjoyed and appreciated the dynamics within the organization. I felt I was given a lot of creative freedom. It suited me well, as I don’t find I produce as naturally with too many confines. I was able to work through the creative process in my own way. That said, if I were feeling uninspired or stagnant, my supervisor was always available with support and guidance. I also had the pleasure of working with some wonderful fellow interns, all inspiring, talented individuals. My internship showed me the sort of work environment I most enjoy and am most productive in, which is an important lesson to learn. I spent six months in Cape Town, working with Penda and felt the time was hugely productive for me, personally and professionally. This internship I would recommend to anyone. It was such a varietal experience with so many ways to contribute and opportunities to grow.

Also interested in a Communications or Writing Internship? Check out the opportunities!