My internship experience in Geneva

 

To say that I was thrilled when I found out that as a young woman, I had qualified for an internship at the World YWCA in Geneva, Switzerland is an understatement.  I was in a euphoric mood for three months awaiting my travel to the global hub for diplomacy and banking.

I arrived in Geneva during winter (my first winter experience) and the sight of snow was a sight to behold. I was warmly received at the world office by an amazing team that ensured I settled in properly.

The World YWCA office is in the vicinity of the United Nations and other international organizations which gives it a global ambience.

As an intern under the Young Women’s Engagement Team, (YWET) my role includes supporting the team to implement the world YWCA office strategy through development and implementation of the young women global campaign and framework. The end goal is to connect millions of young women around the world to understand the social transformation they want to engage in and how, so that they are able to transform power structures for gender equality.

Sounds complex? Let me break it down. It translates to project report and proposal writing, as well as attending local and international trainings and learning opportunities which provide an advocacy platform a global level.

I’m currently working on a recommendation paper for the online engagement of young women at the UN Human Rights Council and I’m very excited about this project. The HRC begins on the 18th of June and I will be leading a twitter chat with partners and young people on a meaningful understanding and participation at the HRC. Do join us, won’t you?

Together with the YWET we recently worked on a proposal of a project seeking the global realisation of young women’s sexual, reproductive and mental health rights. It was exciting to work on this seeing as mental health has not been given the attention it deserves in some countries.

I also had an opportunity to attend the European Study Session 18 in Budapest, Hungary. This was definitely one of my highlights of the internship. I met amazing young feminist women from across Europe to talk about the Rights of Young Migrant and Refugee Women. The session was eye-opening, insightful and emotional. The experience served to ignite the spark within me to do more, do better and serve more in my capacity as a feminist and activist.

I am convinced that all the knowledge and skills I have acquired will benefit to a lot of young girls back in Kenya when I finally conclude on my internship and return home to apply the lessons that I am currently learning.

Geneva has been an amazing place to live and work thus far. I have interacted and engaged with people from different parts of the world. I have learnt new cultures, eaten great new meals and even learnt basic French words!