“It was an honour to be a Next Generation Intern with WACSI”, said Cesaltina Travares Sa, after completing a six-month internship at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) in June 2018.
In January 2018, Sa was among three young West Africans admitted into WACSI’s Next Generation Internship (NGI) programme. She is the first female from Guinea Bissau to participate in the programme.
Sa served under the Knowledge Management Unit. Sandra Ndangha and Moktar Diallo were admitted alongside Sa to work in the Policy Influencing and Capacity Development Units respectively.
As a Knowledge Management intern, she had the opportunity to perform hands-on tasks that shaped her professional skills. She also gained an in-depth understanding of the role of civil society.
“The benefits of this internship experience are numerous. First, it helped me to grow professionally. It has improved my English, as I feel my written and spoken English has tremendously improved over the past six months. It also exposed me and strengthened my knowledge of critical issues in West Africa. For example, I learnt more about transparency and accountability in local governments and gender equality. My research, analysis and report writing skills have greatly improved as well. Most importantly, I built professional relationships that would be valuable to my career journey ahead”, she explained.
As at June 2018, Sa is one of 38 young West Africans who have graduated from the programme. She recognises the role this opportunity has played in enabling her to develop professional relationships that she’d rely on in her future endeavours.
“I am not only grateful to WACSI for providing me with the platform to learn and grow, but also for offering me the opportunity to develop networks and valuable relationships that I would cherish forever,” she declared after the programme.
About the internship programme
The Next Generation Internship (NGI) programme is one of WACSI’s flagship programmes. It was rolled out in 2008 to develop the next generation of civil society leaders from West Africa. This programme targets young West African graduates and professionals who demonstrate interest and commitment to gain work experience in WACSI’s core thematic areas over a six-month period.
During the internship, interns undertake a one-month externship. This affords them the opportunity to work with some of WACSI’s partner organisations based on their professional interest.