For years, CWS-P/A has offered internship opportunities to graduates/postgraduates who are interested in having practical experience in humanitarian and development work. In 2011, CWS-P/A formalized a new partnership with the Canadian Mennonite University based in Winnipeg for an international internship and student exchange program. This partnership aims to help foster the continued growth and expansion of knowledge of CMU graduates while contributing to humanitarian and development work in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The first intern will arrive in early summer 2011.
The international internship program allows graduates to practically apply their theoretical knowledge through hands on experience. Interns will have the opportunity to engage in initiatives that will add value to humanitarian and development work in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Main focus areas of their involvement will include: disaster management; water, sanitation, and the environment; health; education; livelihoods; peace and governance; and quality and accountability. Additional opportunities are available in fields of communications, security management, operations, and organizational development.
On average, internships will last for three months. During this time, interns will not only receive guidance and support from supervisors and colleagues but also have opportunities to meet communities with which CWS-P/A works. Interns will leave CWS-P/A knowing that they have made a contribution to help make a difference in the lives of marginalized people.
CMU and CWS-P/A provide the necessary support to interns so that their experience is meaningful and a practical experience matched to their academic fields. From providing detailed briefing of internships to assisting with visa processing, the interns arrive in Pakistan or Afghanistan fully prepared for their placement. Upon completion of assignment, the interns receive a performance evaluation and experience letter.
The international internship program signifies additional benefits for the humanitarian and development sectors. By providing graduates with these opportunities, a new generation of humanitarian and development workers will enter their fields with experience and knowledge necessary to continue help developing countries recover from disasters and find sustainable development. Interns may continue to work in developing countries or make their contribution from their home countries. Whether at policy, donor, management, or field level, the interns will have had the practical, international experience and exposure to help guide their decisions that may affect thousands of people.