I enrolled in Tyndale’s Business Administration – International Development because I had always had an interest in humanitarianism. Every course that I read about fascinated me, but the best part about the entire program for me is the three-month internship in Malawi, Africa! Travelling is something that I have always loved, and living abroad was a lifetime dream for me.
Each and every student in the International Development program gets to travel across the world to live in the beautiful country of Malawi. Located in the southeast of Africa, Malawi is a small, landlocked country with some of the kindest people that I have ever met.
As part of this experience, students take part in a two-week orientation which prepares them for life here. After two weeks, we move in with host families (Malawians to be exact) and begin an internship with a Non-Profit Organization operating here. Each student has a unique experience because we are all living with different families and working with different organizations.
This year, there are seven of us interning in the capital city of Lilongwe. Some of us are working in women’s empowerment, children’s protection, advocacy for the disabled, and agriculture.
I was placed with World Vision Malawi in their Household Resilience and Livelihoods Department. This means that I am gaining experience, in a well-known non-profit organization, in how best to support families to feed their children a regular and nutritious diet, regardless of economic, environmental and political circumstances.
As I am nearing the end of my trip, I have learned a lot about International Development and implanting aid. The best part of my entire trip was a two-week journey around the country with World Vision, and I visited different Villages to learn about the work World Vision is doing there. I have met many wonderful people who are moving themselves out of poverty into a more sustainable lifestyle for their families and a brighter future for their children.
I have talked with women’s groups, farmers, parents, school principals and village chiefs. With all of the stories that I have accumulated from my journey across the country, I am developing a booklet filled with success stories, and this book will be published and distributed to donors, other non-governmental organizations, government departments, and the United Nations Organization.
In addition to my work with World Vision, I have been able to learn much about Malawi and its culture. I live with a wonderful Malawian couple who have two children. Living with a Malawian family really allowed me to integrate into their culture. I have been able to travel with other Canadians to the neighbouring country of Zambia on a safari. We explored the city of Lilongwe together, getting to see all aspects of life in Malawi.
I have developed some outstanding friendships here in Malawi, and I have learned a lot about what working in a developing country is like. I will be sad to leave Malawi, but I know that this internship has prepared me for a career in international development and has only made me more excited to continue working abroad in my future!