Internship Programme

Building capacity in young professionals

AWARD provides an important workplace-based learning space to build the capacity of young professionals working in natural resource management positions. Ten interns have worked for long periods at AWARD in the past few years. They gain experience in resilience and systems thinking, multidisciplinary approaches, through “learning by doing”, performance appraisals and self-reflections.The benefits to these young professionals have been encouraging particularly in terms of understanding responsibilities in a professional workspace and what goes into making a project work. The internship programme includes face-to-face group sessions with experts and facilitators, individual mentoring and field work as well as collaborative activities with partner organisations. Parallel to this, AWARD hosts a series of mentoring capacity development workshops for both AWARD mentors and partner organisations.

A constant challenge identified in Phase I of the RESLIM-O project was the scarcity of skilled personnel in the climate change, water and biodiversity sectors. There was also evidence that some organisations needed support to mentor young people joining these sectors. Therfore AWARD, as part of the capacity development phase, embarked on an Internship Programme that aims to provide an educationally sound professional development programme for new entrants, unemployed or underemployed graduates in NRM related positions.

Through the internship initiative, Reslim-O’s intention is to strengthen organisational capacity to work with young people entering the field, encourage them to stay and to be not only effective functionaries, but also dynamic, transformative leaders in the workplace – thus improving resilience in the face of challenges like climate change. With this in mind, a comprehensive, learning programme has been designed and was initiated in June 2016.  The programme includes face-to-face group sessions with experts and facilitators, individual mentoring; and field work as well as collaborative activities with partner organisations. Parallel to this, AWARD hosts a series of mentoring capacity development workshops for both AWARD mentors and partner organisations.