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How to find an international development internship
Hello! the following is my first wiki article about a subject I am just learning about, so PLEASE FIX THINGS!
In it's current incarnation, this article will be the product of a team of 4 engineers from the San Francisco Bay Area looking to participate in a development project in South America.
We don't yet have a project, so if you want our help, drop me a line on my talk page
The first step in creating a volunteer project such as this is to define the scope of your project. Particular questions to keep in mind are
- How much money do you want to spend?
- Where do you want to go?
- How long will the project last?
- Will you participate in already established programs or create your own?
- What are your strengths and interests and those of the members of your group?
Answering these questions before you begin your search will make the search a lot easier.
I personally find that if you are an individual looking to do this on your own, participating in an already established program is probably a better choice. If, however, you are part of a larger group, you should still network with existing organizations, but you might have to deal with more of the logistics on your own so as to accommodate the special needs of a larger group.
- Use this wiki - if you are looking to intern, post your biography/resume to your user page - it might also be a good idea for us to create a page for individuals looking to volunteer and organizations looking for volunteers.
- Talk to people - Certainly there is someone at your church, university, high school, or local bar who can send you along the right path. Even if this person doesn't have direct connections to the school in Nicaragua who needs a solar panel, they might know someone who does.
- Create or join a Club - This mostly facilitates the talking to people, You will meet a lot of other engaged people this way and when you are networking, it sounds better to say "I'm with Engineers Without Boarders" then to just be a lone wolf.
Links we Found Useful in our Search
http://www.moreheadfoundation.org/about/summer/sponsors.html has a list of organizations on all continents which might want volunteers
http://www.volunteersforprosperity.gov/vol/find.htm Also an index of organizations looking for help.
www.idealist.org and www.interaction.org
As we haven't actually been there, we don't know for sure. We however speculate that we should put a lot of energy in developing a trusting relationship with the community we will be working with. So please share your experiences and tips here:
- Poor people are often quite aware of their plight and how they can be helped, so getting to know them will aid you greatly.