Intern, Reshna, shares her experience working with Global Peace as her internship comes to an end.
Many people I know have been employed in several jobs while growing up ranging from waitressing at a restaurant to doing paid chores around the neighbourhood. However, I used to worm my way out of getting a summer or part-time job using the excuse, “I want to have a childhood…I’ll work when I am older…”. At the age of 21, I saw my friends’ resumes padded with jobs and internships making them more marketable. That was when I decided to be proactive and find an internship that was related to my course. After scouring the Internet, I found the website to Global Peace Foundation Malaysia. I decided to apply and fortunately was called for an interview.
My expectations were low due to my lack of experience but a couple of days later, I was offered the internship. I was consumed by a range of emotions from that of joy to fear as I did not know what to expect. I went in assuming I would just be doing paperwork, but that was the last thing I did. The tasks that were given to me by the end of my internship were along a wide spectrum. On one end of the spectrum I was asked to make calls and co-manage one of the new programmes, Outdoor Playtime, testing my organisational and managerial skills.
Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, I had to put on work gloves to cement the floor of a Community Centre and build a brick storeroom in an Orang Asli (OA) village (Kampung Batu Putih) in Pahang challenging my physical endurance. While that short stint was very laborious, I distinctly remember meeting three remarkably diligent OA children – Fia (14), Rosa (12), and An (10). During the construction, the adult OAs were not very keen on building the storeroom and cementing the floor of their Community Centre themselves, but these kids were more than willing to go the extra mile. When they saw me working on the storeroom myself, they extended a helping hand. This somehow spurred the adults to join in when they witnessed their children’s excitement and zeal to contribute to the community.
Unlike most internships I have heard of, I found that the work done by Global Peace was very hands-on. One of the major projects is the Communities Unite for Purewater (CUP), which aims to provide clean water to OA villages that do not have clean water sources. I witnessed how the core Global Peace team would not only distribute the water filters, but also engage with the villagers to gain their trust. The team constantly exhibited passion in all the projects and programmes, which drove me to carry out my tasks sincerely.
The open-mindedness of the team to ideas and suggestions was another plus because it made the environment welcoming and safe. There was no clear demarcation of a superior and an inferior. Everyone was given a chance to voice out their opinions and feel free to communicate with one another. I am an introvert and I do not open-up unless I am comfortable and this usually takes a while but by the second week, I was at ease having grown a sense of familiarity with the people around me.
At Global Peace, I also learnt to enhance my skills by creating a platform to demonstrate my creative side. When I was assigned to create posts for social media i.e. posters and picture collages, I found myself taking initiative to produce more extensive creative content such as short videos. While for some this may not seem like a feat, to me it was. Again, I owe it to the work place environment for encouraging me to put my best foot forward. The constant words of encouragement from my supervisors and fellow peers, propelled me and the feedback given on my work was always constructive.
Each task required me to step out of my comfort zone and although that made me feel insecure at times, I managed to reap the benefits and add on to my skill set. I am proud of myself for the work I have accomplished and the people I met at Global Peace, especially among the fellow interns as I did not only make life-long friends but rather had formed a “family” among ourselves. I truly feel blessed that I was given the opportunity to contribute to society and be a part of an engaging and stimulating work force. I would not have traded it for anything else. Thank you Global Peace for making my journey memorable.
Reshna Reem Ganesan
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