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How An Internship in Cape Town Changed My Life

Charley Hasim from the UK has spent the last 8 months on an internship with The Happy Africa Foundation, African Impact's sister charity in our Head Office in Cape Town. Working Monday - Friday, she has got involved in a wide variety of work and if you'd be interested in joining us as one of our Interns, check out more information HERE!

 
So Charley, we've really loved having you as part of the team here in Cape Town - it's been an amazing eight months and I know that I speak for everyone when I say that we're going to miss you.

 First of all, can you tell us what your role involves?

The role is really vast, and for that reason I have been able to shape it and make it my own. I generally spend 4 days a week in the Head Office in Cape Town working with the rest of The Happy Africa Foundation team, really getting stuck in to what it takes to effectively run an NGO. I have been able to assist in getting new projects approved by the board, write grant proposals, host fundraising events and working as a go-to for other interns throughout Africa.

On the other day of the week I go out and volunteer in the community with African Impact. Over the past 8 months I have been to all of the Cape Town Projects and I love my time working in the communities with them. It is really important to keep a grounding to the work going on in Head Office and helps with the sustainable approach we take!

I get every weekend off, and after 8 months I still haven’t done everything there is to do in Cape Town! I don’t think I’ve had one weekend where I haven’t done something new and exciting! From the obvious tourist attractions like climbing Table Mountain and taking the Cable Car down and visiting Robben Island, to Sea Kayaking within 100metres of a breaching whale in Hermanus and paragliding from Signal Hill, there is no end to what you can do here in Cape Town. I committed a few weekends to learning to surf in Muizenberg, but my lack of skill means I unfortunately have nothing to show for this! On the other hand I have become a natural hiker and run a lot, spurred on by the sheer beauty of what is around me! Who wouldn’t want to run along the beach or climb to the top of the mountain to see the breath taking views?

 

charley teaching red hill children

We often talk about the 'impact' our volunteers make on the ground - what is the biggest impact you’ve personally made?

I have been lucky enough to be able to be involved in a lot of different areas of the charity, as well as with our partners African Impact, and this makes it hard to pick one big impact. I have been involved in work leading up to the launch of a new program, The Girl Impact, and have been able to put input in to that, which I am proud of as I am really passionate about empowering girls.

 

Africa can be a challenging place to work - have you experienced any major challenges?

Having never been to Africa before embarking on this experience, I was worried I would feel overwhelmed by what I saw working in the communities, but instead it has left me feeling hopeful. I think my biggest challenge by far is going to be when I eventually return to the UK. Trying to share what I have learnt and figuring out how I can continue to make my impact.

 

Would you say you’ve grown from this experience?

I can honestly say this has been a life changing experience for me and I am finally doing something I am passionate about and this has allowed me to really figure out where I want to go, so the next step is just working out how to get there!

My time in the communities has taught me resilience, how to be more resourceful and what it means to make the most of every opportunity.charley sporting chance cricket volunteer

 

My colleagues in Head Office have made me feel part of the family, and with every African Impact volunteer I have met (of which there have been over 100 from 15 different countries) I have been able to learn something new and feel inspired by their passion and their stories about what brought them here.

One of the biggest lessons I have learnt is that there is no such thing as caring too much. I often found myself overwhelmed with the scale of problems, sometimes so big that it seems impossible to make a dent in them. Since being here I have come to accept that all it takes is for every person to do what they can, in any moment, and change will happen.

 

What are your plans moving forward (Even though we don't want you to leave!)?

For the next 2 months I am going to be going on another big adventure! My first stop is St Lucia, in KwaZulu-Natal to have a look at our projects there, and then I am heading to Soweto in Johannesburg to spend a few days learning more about Apartheid. From there I am flying to Rwanda for a week toexplore before arriving in Kenya, where I am taking a 6 week overland tour through Kenya, Tanzania,
 Malawi, Zambia, Botwana, Namibia and finishing back in Cape Town.

I will then be returning back to the UK and to my job as a civil servant in the Home Office! I have been on an unpaid career break whilst here in Africa, which sadly must come to an end!

I hope to eventually move to a career in development, and the experience I have gained here is just another step toward getting me there!charley working in head office

 

Lastly, what would you say to someone thinking of interning or volunteering abroad?

Just go for it! There are always going to be reasons and barriers to find to not come. My biggest barrier was money! But I made a plan and set a date and started saving! I have not met one person who has regretted taking the leap, and almost everyone leaves hoping to come back again!

 

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adventures in Africa africa africa conservation program africa internships africa lions africa projects africa tourism Africa Travel africa volunteer africa volunteer experiences africa volunteer oportunities africa volunteer opportunities africa volunteer opportunity africa volunteer program Africa volunteer programs africa volunteer work africa volunteering african elephant African Encounter African Impact african impact internship african impact lions african impact livingstone african lion African Lion & Environmental Research Trust african lion and environmental research trust african travel africanimpact AIDS AIDS education Ajax cape town community Ajax soccer ALERT animal rights animal welfare volunteer animals in africa antelope park anti-voluntourism anti-voluntourism campaign cambodia ASDAN volunteering asli gedik Award winning Organisation Awards best volunteer company BETA BETA finalists big 5 big 5 photography big 5 volunteer big 5 volunteering bikes blogging booking flights Books For Africa Botswana volunteering Botswana's wildlife boulders beach budget travel budget volunteering burn out bush walks BYTA camera traps cameroon expedition cancer survivor Cape Town cape town Cape Town volunteering carbon emission carbon footprint career break career break career break africa career break travel career break volunteer career break volunteering Career Breaks volunteering career change career experience charity charity internship Charity jobs charity work africa Charity Work in Africa charity work in tanzania charties to go to Africa with cheap africa travel cheap flights africa cheap volunteer program cheap volunteering opportunities cheetah chimfunshi chimfunshi wildlife orphanage chimfunshi wildlife sanctuary Chimpanzee Chimpanzee and Wildlife Orphan project Chimpanzee Project chimpanzees chimps Christmas competitions christmas in africa christmas time in africa Christmas volunteering christmas vounteering climate change clinic gweru community development community outreach community projects africa community projects in Africa Community projects in South Africa community volunteer community volunteer africa community volunteer work mozambique community volunteering Community work community work africa community work in africa community work zambia conference conservation conservation africa conservation education conservation in africa Conservation Jobs conservation photography conservation program africa conservation projects conservation volunteer conservation volunteer antelope park conservation volunteer in africa conservation volunteer in south africa conservation volunteer in zimbabwe conservation volunteering conservation volunteering africa conservation volunteering in africa conservation volunteering south africa conservation volunteering Zambia Conservation work conservation work in Africa conservation work with lions Conservaton and Research Volunteering cricket africa dambwa pride deforestation Development Manager discount discounts donate electronics donate to africa donating donating old phones donations for africa eco-bricks education volunteer education volunteering educational volunteering elephant empowering communities Empowering Women Empowerment endangered species Environmental conservation environmental education environmentally friendly ethical voluntourism euthanasia of lion exhaustion expedition in africa explore africa facts south africa family volunteering fitflop forest conservation fundraising gain employment game drives game reserve game reserve volunteering gap year gap year abroad gap year africa gap year africa zimbabwe Gap Year Ideas Gap Year in Africa Gap Year in Teaching Gap Year projects in Africa gap year travel Gap Year Volunteer Projects gap year volunteering gathering Giving back go to africa GoAbroad GoAbroad Innovative Award goodsport GoPro gorilla expedition gorilla research gorilla trekking great volunteer organization great white sharks green pop green projects Green Tourism green volunteering GreenPop group volunteering guide to packing Hands on volunteering happy africa happy africa foundation HAYTAP healthcare volunteering help orphaned animals Helping in arica helping people in africa helping the environment helping the lions HIV awareness HIV education HIV education. AIDS education thanda private game reserve HIV volunteering holiday volunteer trip horses how can i volunteer in africa how to be a volunteer in africa how to become a volunteer how to go to africa how to volunteer how to volunteer abroad How to Volunteer Abroad how to volunteer in Africa how to work and travel how to work in africa Humming bird impact imvelo awards imvelo awards 2012 imvelo awards finalists imvelo awards winners imvelo finalists 2011 Innovative Awards Intern Abroad intern in Africa intern with a charity international earth day international volunteer International Women's Day internship internship african impact internship cape town internships internships abroad internships in africa jambiani job opportunity jobs in africa Jobs in Cape Town Jobs in South Africa Jobs with Lions jungle expedition kenya volunteering kwazulu-natal kzn wildlife large predator last minute lion lion conservation Lion Encounter lion prides lion projects lion rehabilitation lion rehabilitation project lion rehabilitation volunteering lion volunteer africa lion volunteer south africa lion volunteering lion volunteering in Africa Lions lions in africa Live and work in Africa make an impact makeyourimpact making a difference in Africa malawi volunteering marketing Masai Mara masai mara volunteering masai mara warriors Mature Volunteer mature volunteering medical outreach project medical projects in zambia medical support medical volunteer medical volunteer projects Medical volunteer projects in Africa medical volunteering medical volunteering africa medical volunteering in africa medical volunteering zambia Naboisho Conservancy national geographic new projects ngamo pride ngo NGO Internship NGO Jobs non-profit organisations nursing Older volunteering orphan care orphan care africa orphan volunteer projects Orphan Volunteer Projects in Africa over 30's over 30's volunteering packing for the bush packing for travel to Africa Paid volunteering paid volunteering in africa photography africa photography south africa photography volunteer photography volunteering plant trees pre-school volunteering preparing to volunteer programs in Africa project rhino kzn projects africa projects for africa reasons to travel Red Hill reforestation reforestation in africa responsible tourism Responsible travel retirement volunteering rhino rhino poachers rhinos killed in south africa rural school Safari safari africa Save the African Lion save the trees saving rhinos saving the lion saving the lions saving the planet school uniforms africa seychelles Smba Giya social involvement social media Something different for retirement south afric south africa south africa internships south africa rhinos south africa volunteering special offer sponsor a child programme sports volunteer st lucia st lucia south africa St Lucia, South Africa stand out cv stand out resume steve jobs student volunteering sustainability sustainable development sustainable volunteering sustaining trees table mountain teach abroad teach English abroad teach in africa teach in tanzania teach in zanzibar teaching Teaching Africa teaching in africa teaching in zambia teaching projects in africa Teaching Volunteer Projects in Africa team house tentation THAF Thanda thanda in africa thanda private game reserve the happy africa foundation tips on what to pack tourism tourism cape town tourism south africa tourism zanzibar tourism zimbabwe travel travel africa travel and work overseas travel in Africa travel opportunities travel overseas travel to africa at christmas trees for zambia Trip Advisor trvelling Tuli Game Reserve tweeting UCAS points UCAS points volunteering UK. Established in 2004 UNESCO up close with lions Victoria Falls victoria falls lion victoria falls lions victoria falls volunteer visit africa visit zimbabwe voluntary work africa Voluntary Work in Africa Volunteer volunteer abroad Volunteer Abroad volunteer abroad mozambique volunteer africa volunteer africa children volunteer africa opportunity volunteer africa program volunteer antelope park volunteer at Christmas Volunteer at Christmas volunteer chimfunshi volunteer coordinator volunteer forever volunteer game reserve Volunteer in Africa Volunteer in Africa volunteer in africa with children volunteer in African clinic volunteer in Cape Town Volunteer in Cape Town volunteer in Kenya volunteer in kwazulu natal volunteer in Livingstone volunteer in South Africa Volunteer in South Africa volunteer in Tanzania volunteer in the Masai Mara volunteer in township volunteer in west africa volunteer in Zambia volunteer in Zanzibar volunteer in Zimbabwe volunteer in Zimbabwe volunteer lions volunteer mozambique volunteer national park volunteer on conservation projects in Africa volunteer on game reserve volunteer on holiday volunteer on vacation volunteer opportunities volunteer opportunities africa volunteer opportunity abroad Volunteer opprotunities Africa volunteer overseas volunteer overseas work Volunteer programs in Africa volunteer project volunteer projects volunteer projects africa volunteer projects in africa volunteer south africa volunteer St Lucia volunteer stories Volunteer Travel volunteer travel conference volunteer wildlife volunteer with african children volunteer with animals volunteer with animals africa volunteer with animals in africa volunteer with charities in africa volunteer with children volunteer with children africa volunteer with children in kenya volunteer with chimpanzees volunteer with chimps volunteer with elephants volunteer with lions Volunteer with Lions volunteer with monkeys volunteer with orphans volunteer with rhinos volunteer with wildlife volunteer with wildlife in africa volunteer work africa volunteer work health benefits volunteer zambia volunteer zanzibar volunteer zimbabwe Volunteering volunteering abroad volunteering africa volunteering ethics volunteering in africa volunteering in cape town volunteering in Mozambique volunteering in South Africa volunteering in zambia volunteering opportunities volunteering programmes volunteering with animals volunteering with lions volunteering zambia Volunteerism volunteerng volunteers making an impact Voluntourism voluntourism voluntourism ethics voluteer in africa walk with lions walking with lions walking with lions africa What is it like to volunteer in Africa what to do at christmas what to do in Africa what to pack what to pack africa what to wear volunteering where can i volunteer Why pay for volunteering why volunteer Wildlife conservation wildlife conservation volunteering wildlife orphan care wildlife orphanage wildlife photography wildlife photography africa wildlife photography opportunity wildlife photography program wildlife photography project wildlife project africa wildlife rehabilitation wildlife research wildlife research project wildlife research volunteer wildlife volunteer africa Wildlife Volunteer in Africa wildlife volunteer in south africa wildlife volunteer project wildlife volunteer projects wildlife volunteer zimbabwe wildlife volunteering wildlife volunteering africa wildlife volunteering in africa wildlife volunteering in south africa Womens empowerment work abroad work abroad volunteer work and travel abroad work and travel overseas work experience abroad work for charities in africa work gap year work in Africa work in south africa work volunteers Work with animals work with children Work with Children in Africa work with children in south africa Work with Chimpanzees work with elephants Work with Lions work with lions in africa Worki in Africa working abroad working in Africa Working in Zambia Working with Chimps working with lions world aids day Worlds best holiday destination youth travel Zambia zambia africa zanzibar Zimbabwe zimbabwe volunteer projects zulu communities zulu culture zulu dambwa pride
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