What You Will Gain from the Internship
While team experiences of our internship program will differ, this is what most interns gain from their experience:
- A general familiarity with the arena of international “development” and its actors – the role of government, NGOs, CBOs, etc.
- A familiarity with the arena of public health and its actors in Sub-Saharan Africa – government-run health service structure and functioning, the role of government officials in health policy creation and health/sanitation initiatives, the formation of a grassroots community movement for health promotion/advocacy, the role of NGOs in health provision, etc
- A detailed understanding of Uganda’s medical services – the structure of the national, regional, and local-level health centers, the role of decentralized health centers and the challenges they face in delivering services to the rural poor, the role of Health Assistants and Community Development Officers at the sub-county level, methods of public health and healthcare outreach/service at the village level, the NGOs who are most prominent in public health and health provision in Uganda and their strategies.
- Knowledge in how to actually implement health services on the ground – how to approach outside NGOs, how to most effectively work with government employees, how to mobilize individuals to attend events, the best strategies for interactive educational presentations, how to work with a translator (especially during presentations), how to deal with requests for help which are beyond your personal skill level or capacity, how to change plans quickly when things don’t happen as planned or when immediate opportunities present themselves.
- Ability to live and work effectively in an isolated, rural setting – how to bathe, clean, cook and live without running water or electricity, how to pick up an unfamiliar language quickly, how to win trust in rural villages, how to communicate across language and cultural barriers, how to work crops in Uganda, how to prepare food over a charcoal stove, how to get around on Ugandan public transportation, how to bargain for food or other goods.
- Ability to work effectively within a small, inter-cultural team – how to effectively delegate tasks between members, how to deal with stress and communication issues, how to deal with cross-cultural communication between international and Ugandan interns, how to deal with down time without feeling pressured to work 24/7, how to incorporate the mission of the team into one’s daily routine and habits.