Campus club offers internships in Malawi
A unique opportunity open to students on the Hill, an internship in Malawi, may provide an enriching and philanthropic way to spend a JanPlan or summer vacation. Though summer internships are set up through World Camp, Inc., a company unaffiliated with the College, students can obtain a JanPlan internship through LuziCare.
LuziCare, a campus club that raises funding and social awareness for the Chadika, Malawi community, teams with the Face to Face AIDS Project (F2F) and Chadika Community Based Organization (CBO) to send student-interns to this sub-Saharan region of Africa to teach, research and live for approximately four weeks.
A member of both LuziCare and World Camp, Inc., Karen Clark ’12 is drawn to Malawi because “it’s a beautiful country and the people are so nice, but it’s…one of the poorest countries in the world,” she said. “The [community] has lots of problems and no infrastructure.” Clark, who has visited Malawi seven times in the last two years, runs a volunteer program for teachers, and is involved in improving environmental and health systems, but the responsibilities for other interns may vary. The internships’ humanitarian work “would totally depend on what initiatives are going on…who’s getting what resources and what resources are needed,” Clark said.
With a focus on sustainable global development, interns engage in research, education, agriculture and spreading awareness about common hygiene and social health issues. Working largely through local youth groups, interns attempt to increase knowledge about HIV and Malaria prevention, as well as erasing stigmas commonly associated with these diseases.
JanPlan interns live at Mufasa Backpackers Lodge in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, which is approximately 40 minutes from Chadika via bicycle taxi. Though many modern amenities are provided, the lifestyle adjustment can be an eye-opening experience for someone accustomed to life on a New England college campus.
“During my first trip, I was incredibly struck by things as simple as the class sizes,” Clark reflected. “There can be 150 kids to one teacher, and they just don’t have the basic information and basic sanitation they need to stay healthy. It was really hard to see what we have and what they have and to try to justify that in my mind.”
Students accepted to the program can earn one college credit for their work in Malawi and, with help from an advisor and the Career Center, planning for the experience is relatively hassle-free.