New York, NY, September 10, 2021 - MCW Global held its 2nd edition of the Community Leaders in Africa Internship Program (CLA) virtually between May 10 and August 20, 2021. CLA provides an internship opportunity to engage and support alumni of the Young Leaders Access Program to develop their skills to address communities’ pressing needs around the world. As part of the program, interns go through an intensive internship experience at any one of our affiliate organizations in Rwanda, Tanzania or Zambia. Through this immersive program, they gain practical, professional community development experience while identifying and working on a set of leadership skills and tools, increasing their self-awareness level, and working in a multicultural environment.

The virtual internship program selected Eleni Nanaj from Albania and Sharon Matongo from Zimbabwe to intern with MCW’s affiliate organizations in Africa, i.e. MC-Tanzania and MC-Rwanda, respectively. Eleni joined MC-Tanzania as Monitoring and Evaluation Intern. During her internship, she developed a system in place to streamline the organization’s M&E process, and in doing so, also created templates for impact story collection and monthly reporting.

Eleni demonstrated the ability to understand the pressing needs of a small NGO and assisted in the development of impact reporting tools that will benefit MC-Tanzania in the long term. Her work and dedication are testaments of the success of MCW's Young Leaders Program to prepare youth to become an engine of positive change in the communities they work in”, shared Venance Ngungo, MC-Tanzania’s Country Manager.

Sharon joined the MC-Rwanda team as a Communications and Resource Mobilization Intern. As part of her role, she established MC-Rwanda’s brand identity and online presence while increasing awareness and visibility of MC-Rwanda’s brand and programs. During her internship, some of the highlights were the development and implementation of MCR’s Communication Strategy and the development of the Brand Manual and Graphics Standards Handbook to amplify the affiliate’s overall communications and brand image.

Working in Communications and Resource Mobilization with MC-Rwanda was an incredible experience! My favorite part of the internship was learning how story-telling acts as an effective conduit for greater impact work. Beyond that, interacting with teams from MC-Rwanda, MC-Tanzania and MC-Zambia gave me a strong sense of community (something desperately needed while working virtually),” commented Sharon on her MC-Rwanda internship.

The interns were supported by orientation sessions during the internship, facilitated by MCW Global team and MCW’s affiliate organizations. Additionally, each intern was paired with a mentor, who also are the alumni of Young Leaders Access Program. The mentorship aspect enabled the interns to seek socio-emotional support during the internship and avail the opportunity to work on their own short-term personal development plan (PDP) closely supervised by their mentor.

“Being a virtual CLA intern was one of the best chapters of my life as it helped me re-evaluate my long-term goals and values. It felt good having new people as a supporting system, with whom after every check-in meeting, we would talk about different issues that we were having or even future plans,” said Eleni while reflecting on her MC-Tanzania internship.

The CLA is a great opportunity for young leaders within our alumni to augment their community development skills for greater impact. With a mix of professional and personal development opportunities, interns leave the CLA better equipped to effect meaningful change in their own communities using skills and lessons gained during their internships.

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