Life as an intern

Written by our Happy Africa Zanzibar Intern Sarah 

Hey everyone, I’ve officially been interning in Zanzibar for about 6 weeks now and still love it! The communities of Jambiani and Kizimkazi are incredibly welcoming and open, and continue to give me so much more than I could have imagined. My first four weeks were spent working on the two main African Impact projects on the island. I taught geography and conservation classes at the Jambiani Educational Community Centre, as well as adult English classes in the afternoon. My students constantly surprised me with their work ethic and desire to learn. Some of them have been able to get jobs in the service industry this peak season because of the English skills they have learned with African Impact. This project you dive deep into the Jambiani community through daily connections with students and the local women’s group, the Kanga Ladies.

My second two weeks were spent on the Marine Conservation Project in Kizimkazi. This project focuses on creating a sustainable balance between the ocean and the local community through dolphin monitoring, Conservation Club, and ethical boat driver training workshops. The dolphin population in this area of the island along with increased tourism has created a dolphin tour industry that is damaging to marine life. Our workshops train drivers on how to ethically run a dolphin tour that lets them make a living while protecting and respecting the dolphins. Our Conservation Club is teaching younger students about the environment, conservation, and sustainability in Kizimkazi and Zanzibar with semester lessons like “Save our Seas” and “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” I absolutely love this project and the long-term impact it is going to have in the community. Plus, there aren’t many jobs that allows you to be on a boat every morning interacting with dolphins and coral reefs.

One of my goals for this internship is to improve in sharing my passion for conservation, the environment, and helping people with others. Experiencing both projects has allowed me to do this and therefore, helped me to perform my intern roles better. I can appropriately talk about both projects to volunteers with confidence and explain why they are so important using my own stories. Being a THAF intern has also opened my eyes to the non-profit sector and how important fundraising is to create a lasting impact. I am constantly learning about the business side of THAF and African Impact while interacting with the communities on the ground. I think this combination of environments is what makes this internship special.

Icing on top of the cake is that this island in general has been an amazing place to live. I have gone snorkeling, seen Zanzibar’s Red Colobus Monkey in Jozani Forest, swam with sea turtles in Nungwi, and plan to try kite surfing. I also get to walk outside onto a beach every day, learn Swahili with our security guard, and learn to cook local dishes with our chefs. These are memories that I know will last more than 12 weeks.

If you are interested in interning with an NGO, check out our page here.