In May 2012, I was given the opportunity to work under the African Community Internship Placement Programme with Health Protection and Environmental Sanitation, an organization that works in health outreach targeting communities in the Cape Coast area.
Perhaps the most exciting part of my internship was working directly with the HEPENS team, with whom I formed great relationships. I was able to conduct research and design curriculum’s for health talks and programmes, as well as work with diverse populations and age groups to educate them on significant health issues. As a result, my internship with HEPENS allowed me to see much more of Cape Coast and its outlying areas. I was able to interact on a regular basis with the women’s group in the Kwamoano community, which was the most enriching experience of my entire internship. Indeed, I had to adjust to the flexibility of Ghanaian life, but that only made my internship more exciting with its unexpected twists and turns. This internship also allowed me to finalize my decisions regarding my education and graduate school. Through my ACIPP internship, I was not only able to use my skills to help HEPENS and the communities in which I worked, but I was also able to learn from my host organization as well as gain direction for my future.
One of my favourite things about working with ACIPP is the freedom the organization gives you to explore beyond your internship. Compared to other organizations, there was little “hand-holding,” which I appreciated, as it allowed me to explore beyond what I had originally planned to do, enriching my experience in Ghana. Additionally, ACIPP and its interns became like family to me, going beyond the typical patriarchal relationship that people see in internship placement organizations. All in all, my internship and my time in Ghana facilitated by ACIPP was indeed the best experience of my life so far. I have formed a family in Ghana and surely will return.