My internship at AFAWI was initially planned for 3 months. But I liked it so much that I stayed 2 months longer. I was allowed to work on the livelihood project and supervise another project. What I particularly liked about AFAWI was that as an intern you are given responsibility for projects and that you have a lot of trust from your superiors. Philip, Marlene, and Jennifer do a great job and are always there for you, no matter what. I have learned so many new things. Through the internship, you have the opportunity to gain a lot of skills in the area of project management and development aid. If you decide to just volunteer with AFAWI, there are also many opportunities to go into the field and do active development work. My internship at AFAWI was really fun because I learned a lot of things. The team is great and Ghana is a beautiful country so it's definitely worth it to do a placement with AFAWI.
I had a really great time. Obviously so far from the comforts of home and what I’m used to could be challenging at times, and also just knowing everything we learned on the course and then experiencing it in real life left me with a lot of questions regarding developmental initiatives. There’s so much to be done, but also so many uncertainties on the best way to go about it. All in all though it was extremely beneficial and helped me a lot both professionally and personally. This internship gave me the ability to experience the realities of working in a grassroots organisation in the development sphere. Having this experience is invaluable in influencing my future career decisions. Getting to meet, spend time with and learn from everyone on the AFAWI team was definitely a highlight. I really enjoyed the Empowering Girls presentations as well. It was great to see the students so excited and interactive. It really felt like they gained a lot from those sessions. Experiencing Ghana for an extended period of time and familiarising myself with the country and culture was amazing as well.
I have always wanted to work in NGOs and humanitarianism in general. It’s always important to have an understanding of the professional opportunities you will have once you graduate so I’m glad I got to work with AFAWI. It also enabled me to question my privileges and to be more grateful for what I have. The AFAWI staff was very friendly, and I felt like I could come to them if I had questions or needed to discuss. They made us feel at home. The internship taught me a lot and I appreciated being able to have a professional experience and to work on the field. It was challenging at times, but I knew I could count on my friends and the AFAWI staff if I needed anything. I also think this was an experience like no other and I am glad I was a part of it.
As I have not worked in the development field or been to Africa before I had little idea of what to expect. However this programme has provided me with many skills that have been manifested through administrative tasks and field work through linking policies, concepts, and debates and how to apply them in practice. Working with Ghanaian entrepreneurs from fruit sellers to fashion designers, gave me a deep respect for their determination to thrive in the face of daily hardship (power, water, access to ICT, economy etc). Despite being materially underdeveloped, their consistent joy and relationally rich way of life heightened my appreciation for what really matters. Additionally, entering into the rhythm of a team of passionate individuals committed to AFAWI’s projects exposed me too and deepened my desire to find a career in the development field.
I learnt about many of the practical aspects of running an NGO including; registration and daily operation, budgeting, fundraising and proposal writing. Being from a medical background I was interested in being involved in reproductive and public health projects. Firstly, I was able to work with AFAWI to set-up and deliver reproductive and developmental health talks for school children in Adenkrebi, a relatively remote village in Accra,Ghana. Additionally, I was actively involved in planning a community health screening program for local communities in greater Accra. This experience provided invaluable insight into the operations of an NGO, including; operating legally and within cultural customs, budgeting, fundraising, etc. I also received invaluable insight into working within local communities. I would have liked to have more time to be able to gain more experience.
The seven weeks I spent in Ghana working with AFAWI were incredibly fun and very rewarding. I was able to work on both their Livelihood and Eccachild programmes and both have given me transferable skills that I will take with me when I go. I helped to run training sessions for the Livelihood women and took part in monitoring and evaluating activities that allowed me to watch their progress. Working with the Eccachild children was also very enjoyable and you could definitely see the sustainable impact that the project will have on their lives. Getting to know the AFAWI has been really enjoyable, they have welcomed us into their homes, taught us to cook Ghanaian foods and even taken us on road trips on the weekend. I am very grateful for the opportunity to have worked with this charity and will follow the work they do even once I have returned home.
The last 7 weeks I have spent interning with AFAWI has been an eye-opening and life changing experience. I have made some incredible memories with the staff at AFAWI and with the partnership staff at the credit union, in what has definitely made an impact to the lives of the many women on their LIVELIHOOD project. We were able to impart the information needed to develop the skills which have allowed the women to expand and grow their businesses. I have really enjoyed witnessing first-hand the impact this has made to their lives and also the lives of their families. I have loved exploring the different regions of Ghana and have immensely enjoyed their delicious food, which I will miss very much. I am looking forward to seeing the charity grow over time and also hearing about the progress of the many women we have helped in the future.
Working with AFAWI has been a fun and rewarding experience. Staff take a sustainable and holistic approach to their development work and ensure that you carry out a wide variety of activities during your stay: running workshops, monitoring businesses, attending conferences, registering school children for health insurance and assisting the local credit union in their daily work. AFAWI tailors it’s projects to the needs of the individuals and communities by ensuring that they have a thorough understanding of beneficiaries’ livelihoods before work commences.
We have been welcomed by Jennifer who has arranged everything for us - food, accomodation, transport, weekend activities and even WiFi! Phillip was also kind enough to take us sightseeing at weekends to wonderful parts of the country. So it’s not all work!
In essence, volunteering with AFAWI gives you a wide variety of opportunities to use your skills for good and gain new ones whilst learning lots about Ghana and its people. Thanks to all the staff for a great couple of months!
Interning with AFAWI this summer has been an incredible experience that I will never forget! I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the vulnerable women through the Livelihood Project and have seen firsthand how AFAWI has had a positive impact on their businesses and lives- it has been truly inspiring. I also enjoyed signing children up for NHIS cards through the ECCACHILD project, which the children and their families were immensely grateful for as they will surely benefit from them in the future. Additionally, over the course of 7 weeks I have been welcomed into the colourful and vibrant Ghanaian culture, as well as been given the opportunity to see some outstanding historical landmarks. The generosity and warmth I have received from the wonderful people I have met has also contributed to the experience, and I cannot wait to see AFAWI continue to grow and reach more vulnerable women and children across the country.
Another volunteer from the United States, Gabby came to AFAWI for couple of months to experience working in a grassroots NGO in Africa. Alongside Oscar and Lindsay, Gabby assisted in initial phase of the Livelihood Microfinance Project as well. During her stay with us, Gabby was a key driver in the bid to raise money for AFAWI’s work through the online Global Giving Challenge. She was directly responsible for drafting the microfinance project proposal to be placed on the fundraising website. The aim of the Global Giving Challenge was to connect people from around the world, spread awareness and knowledge about AFAWI’s microfinance initiative and ultimately gather financial support for the project.
Maria Rocio Cortelo Jiménez
Oscar Laurie Wynne
I always wanted to volunteer in a developing country so when AFAWI selected me to volunteer in Ghana for three months, I was thrilled. AFAWI works to protect vulnerable people in Ghana, especially women and children. This NGO has different projects in the fields of sex education, HIV awareness or youth development. Working for AFAWI has been a wonderful experience. Not only it has given me the chance to work with a local, African NGO but it has also helped me to develop skills which will help me to find my dream job in the future.
In the personal field, it could not have been better. Living with a host family has shown me the real Ghana and has allowed me to meet wonderful people and learn from them. Also, sharing my experience with other volunteers has been great because I felt supported all the time.
I have had the opportunity to do a lot of field work which, besides giving me the opportunity of getting to know in depth the Ghanaian culture, has shown me how it is like to work with an African NGO and the challenges that it supposes. I am already thinking in going back again. I recommend this experience to everyone.
Oscar was from Britain joined AFAWI and stayed with the organization for a total of seven months. As Oscar arrived when the Livelihood Project was in its start-up stage, he was a key factor in the initial feasibility and candidate identification study.
During this time, his major focus was on conducting the assessment of the potential female candidates for the offer of loans and created profiles for each of the women. The aim was to make sure that the loans were offered to these women who fell below the poverty line and therefore needed it the most. AFAWI’s first loan disbursements were given during Oscar’s stay and he assisted in the design and development of the method of distribution and structure of repayments.
Oscar was also part of the team that conceptualized the Kid Fund and the Kid Club, which have become important projects within AFAWI’s activities. These two initiatives are still running today and have successfully provided additional tuition and secured the enrollment of two boys into primary school.