With my internship at Global Peace Foundation being my first official work experience in the non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector, I came in wanting to learn more about the process and planning behind the project implementation of an NGO.
Fortunately for me, I leave Global Peace Foundation gaining so much more than just that.
I was attached to the UNDP All Lights Programme and this gave me the opportunity to do a wide array of work such as market research for various crops as well as Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) research and activity implementation.
During meetings in the office, I love how my opinions, questions and views were accepted. The flat structure in the company dynamics allowed for interns to generally do and learn more.
Furthermore, instead of doing mere research or paperwork, the frequent trips to the Orang Asli villages enabled me to see firsthand the impact of the work done in the office as well as gain in depth knowledge on the issues faced by the Orang Asli community.
I loved how, as opposed to a mere superficial visit to each village, we had actually stayed over at a village and later continued to spend a significant amount of time in other villages. This enabled us to experience the effects of not having resources such as electricity and running water, as well as forge strong bonds with the villagers respectively.
This initial trip was followed by fortnightly trips and a lot of reporting and research. Although tiring at times, it was made significantly more enjoyable by the full-time staff and interns at Global Peace Foundation. The staff at Global Peace Foundation are extremely warm and welcoming– weekly and farewell lunches for the interns are a norm here.
Some of the best memories I have in Global Peace Foundation are from the late night talks in the Pahang homestay, the long, bumpy car rides to the villages as well as the impromptu beach visit to see the sunset during a rather tiring trip.
Ultimately, I leave Global Peace Foundation having learned way more than just project management skills and the contentious nature of indigenous land rights. I leave Global Peace Foundation as a far more sensitive and aware individual, having been introduced to a whole new world of selfless individuals who devote much time and energy in improving the lives of the Orang Asli community as well as the history, culture, traditions and plight of the Orang Asli community here in Malaysia.
If anyone is looking for an internship where they can step out of their comfort zone, learn more about and do more for a marginalised community and be valued as an intern, I highly recommend Global Peace Foundation Malaysia.
Associate Intern (July 2020-September 2020)