Veronika Lipkova, 2014, Undeclared

My summer internship with IkamvaYouth was designed to help me understand and act on the challenges that an educational NGO is faced with. As an educational intern in their branch in Khayelitsha Township, I primarily worked on Winter School, a two-week long project aimed at improving the learners’ school performance. I assisted in the design of the program, which brought together many specialists from different ­backgrounds. They carried out a range of workshops that focused mostly on tutoring and career ­guidance. I also assisted with data collection for a sustainability study, which in the future will help IkamvaYouth support their requests for grants. This experience gave me a ­perspective on South Africa’s educational system and life in the township, and it also gave me a taste of what it feels like to be a complete alien in a very special ­community. This ­internship primarily showed me that the township learners have enormous potential and great ­desire to learn, and when given an opportunity, they will seize it. This experience, therefore, made me reconsider my career choice and look in the direction of public policy and economics.