Saru's Internship Story
As a social work student at K&K international college I am interested in working in topics that involve sexual and reproductive health specifically when looking at the issues girls may have. This is something which I feel I would like to pursue a career in and that’s why I chose this course and have been looking for experience in the development and social work sector. I first heard about Restless Development and their work through a Bhaktapur youth information forum that I am involved with. I heard about an exciting programme that Restless Development ran called dance4life and as I am a keen dancer and like music it grabbed my attention. I was excited when there was talk of a vacancy in mid 2012 as a peer educator so I applied and fortunately I got selected!
This programme was operating in a number of schools and I worked with a wide variety of school students that ranged between 10 and 16 years. The placement involved bringing boys and girls together in groups to talk about life skills and sexual and reproductive health which included an emphasis on HIV/AIDS. As mentioned this is a great interest of mine and I was extremely enthusiastic about the programme, especially as it was done through the medium of dance and music. Although this placement had some challenges, such as sensitive lessons and occasionally embarrassing topics, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the team from Restless Development and built a good working relationship with them.
During my third year of studying I kept in close contact with members of the Restless Development team and I recognised that there were opportunities at their organization. As they had been impressed with my efforts during the previous programme they contacted me about a position as an intern in their Youth Sector Support Programme. As I had enjoyed working with this team so much I was motivated and delighted that I could accept the offer from this fantastic youth-led agency. I was also inspired by my placement supervisor who helped guide me and prepare for the internship. The role attracted me because a high priority was working with the government of Nepal, ministry of youth and sports.
Although having mixed emotions of nerves and excitement I was quickly settled on my first day thanks to a smile on welcome and a team who went out of their way to make me feel at home. On the first few days I was focused on learning so I watched and listened closely while building a good rapport with the team however my responsibilities and presence in the office grew as the placement went on. One of my main achievements was the amount of research I conducted on various issues that the ministry needed so to carry out successful and continuous youth exchange programmes and meetings with I/NGO's and foreign ministries.
My placement came to an end after 3 months, or at least should have done but as I had taken part in projects and programmes that associated with my knowledge and previous work Restless Development offered me the option of an extension. As I had enjoyed working with the team and on the programmes it was an easy decision to accept, especially as I had a delay until my exam and wanted to utilize the free time. At the time of writing, I am currently coming to the end of this second placement which has been based in the Restless Development offices and has included work in television. Here I have been adding English subtitles to episodes of our television program, 'Restless Youth', as it's delivered in Nepali. One of my favorite things that I have worked on over the last few months has been collecting Information, Education and Communication materials (IEC) for 5 Model Youth Information Centers (MYIC).
I will be completing my final exams of my Bachelor degree in the coming months and then after this it will be time to pursue a career in social work and development. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and thanks to my placement and the many tasks I have participated in I feel more prepared for a career in this line of work. The greatest benefit has been the opportunity for me to build valuable networks with the people at Restless Development, as well as a number of other institutions and organizations.