Internship in a NGO - supporting womens and girls skills education

When I told family and friends I was going to spend six month on an Indonesian Island, the response I got most was: „Bali. Beaches. Beer.“ What I really experienced was: „Wise, Wonderful, Wholehearted.“

October to March - six months that I would never exchange for anything else in the world. I was fortunate enough to decide a six month internship on Bali would perfectly fit into my cultural studies program back in Germany and was convinced in an instant that Bali WISE, which operates under the umbrella of ROLE Foundation, is the right place to committ my time and knowledge to. Working with women that are motivated to learn and envision a brighter future for themselves, their families and their country. It is always an inspiring atmosphere floating through the Cafe, Campus and Kantor in Jalan Siligita.

I found the organization via Students go abroad. It is much easier to organise your time in a foreign country, on a continent you have never been to before with their help. They have staff that supports you with all matters from communication, housing, transport and visa. Of course, you have to pay for that kind of service but the money is worth spending, as I felt a lot more comfortable knowing I could call on someone 24/7.

I was placed in a great villa with pool and garden and met wonderful people their who all interned and worked in other NGOs/ Hotels/ enterprises. It was great to share views, network and link the various projects as well as just plan weekend trips together.

Internships are to learn how to prepare good coffee? Not at Bali WISE. From the beginning the wonderful staff trusted me with tasks I had never expected to be given at that early stage. My tasks varied so much I never got bored and there is no way to put all of it down. However, I enjoyed being in charge of the social network activities, campaign designs for news releases and letters and even gained so much valueable experience in fundraising and event management. We prepared two fundraisers with which I could help and where my oppinion was always respected and valued. As my knowledge on the organisation built up and I knew the foundation inside out I was allowed to go to Gianyar and talk to sponors, I even presented our case to the Human Ressorce Association which conects hotels in Bali and hosts many important people in the hospitality and tourism sector Bali WISE trains their students up for.

I have been given the opportunity to improve my paedagogical skills by assisting with and even teaching Literacy and Night Classes. The little children were always very grateful for a changa and some of the games we played. Also, a advanced English speaker is very good for them to improve their pronunciation and listening skills. From the first moment on I felt involved and knew that my help was appreciated and really made a difference in the daily process.

Only few times have I met people so wholeheartedly committed to a program. Each and every single one of staff, students and volunteers contribute their energy to making the program a success and support the women striving for their future at their best abilities. I would totally recommend Bali WISE as a place for an internship as every hand is needed and welcome.

Of course, spending six months abroad is not always merry and fun, however thanks to the organization's on-site support and the great companionship I shared with my villa-mates, I overcame any troubles with stomach, homesickness, police or a boring weekend. Although working hours are long (they always fly past way to fast, though) there is plenty of time to get to know the rich culture of Balinese people. There are beaches, there is beer and it is all part of Bali, but there is so much more under the surface one can discover and learn from. I will be back to see how Bali WISE and the island in general are developing.