The curtains of 2021 opened with a new career adventure for Shu Mabel Lum, a young and ambitious Cameroonian who is passionate about grooming young girls to understand the key role they play in society. Lum is poised to hone her advocacy skills to effectively advocate for the wellbeing of young girls.
Realising her passion, Lum, a master’s student in the National Advanced School of Agro-Industrial Sciences at the University of Ngaoundere in Cameroon sought for opportunities that will hone her professional skills and enable her to realise her goal.
Then emerged the call for interns for WACSI’s Next Generation Internship Programme – a programme designed to groom young West Africans into seasoned professionals. The programme equips participants and makes them apt to handle leadership positions within the civil society sector.
Lum applied for the Capacity Development intern position at WACSI, an opportunity she hopes would shape her into a highly revered advocate for the rights of young girls. She explains her optimism in the programme.
“[WACSI] is made up of dynamic and focus – driven experts who are skilled in very different domains and who are patient enough to ensure that the right training is delivered. Their expertise in different fields present the perfect platform for diving into the domain of community development and youth empowerment which is my domain of interest,” she says.
Lum sees this opportunity as a ground-breaking platform that will mould her into a highly skilled professional in the civil society sector.
“I hope to be transformed from a caterpillar to a butterfly,” she says.
“By the end of this programme, I should be able to undertake presentations (both physical and virtual) confidently and eloquently, write good reports, develop concept notes as well as write good grant proposals,” she adds. Lum is poised to acquire hands-on skills from this internship opportunity and harness some of the professional skills she already has.
“This is also a platform for me to perfect my skills in designing training programmes from the point of conception right through to delivery,” she explains.
Through this internship, she hopes to expand her network by getting in contact with resourceful people who can guide her to explore more opportunities that will create a positive impact on her career. This is an expectation that the NGIP has undoubtedly delivered over the years.
With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, WACSI incorporated a mentorship component within the programme. With this, interns are matched with seasoned professionals who mentor them in their domains of professional interest. This would greatly interest the young ambitious Cameroonian.
Learning about this and the additional training components embedded in the NGIP assures Lum that she is in the right place.
“What gives me the most joy is the fact that I would be a more refined person after this work-based internship programme. It consists of a vast number of programmes and activities including training, coaching and hands-on experiences that are very necessary for personal growth as well as preparing me for my future career,” she gleefully explains.
Given the limited number of existing opportunities at the disposal of West African youths and the competitive selection process of the NGIP, she further counts this as an indisputable career milestone, one that will remain memorable for a lifetime.
“Taking into consideration the very high level of competition in the search for training opportunities such as this, being selected for this internship is an achievement and an indication that I can achieve anything I set out to do,” she proudly notes.