Alliance for African Women Initiative (AFAWI)

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9 / 10 after 8 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings
Program website: http://afawigh.org/

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My time with AFAWI gave me the opportunity to experience first hand the obstacles associated with the implementation and operation of social developments projects within West Africa, in what seemed to be a typically unequal and unjust African capital. Yet by working within a dedicated organisation along with both creative minded interns and inspiring local employees, it became apparent that many of these first noticed problems could soon be capably overcome. Whilst working on the “ECCACHLD” project that aimed to provide much needed health, medical and educational support to vulnerability children, I found myself independently coordinating with facilitators working for a wide array of local institutions, social organisations and disciplinary professions. In reflection, I believe AFAWI’s internship programme provides you with the provisional coordinates necessary to implement social development projects within the local community, yet allows you to work independently synchronizing and managing, offering you the opportunity to responsibly ensure that vulnerable children effectively receive help. Given a position of reliability, the placement forces interns to be both think intuitively and creatively, as well allowing interns the opportunity to independently develop project in directions that reflects their own personal concerns.

Working in the ‘field’ predominantly, allows an intern to experience first hand the dilemmas of current development interventions; both through ones own experience of programme implementation as well as observing troublesome governmental run development services within the local community. AFAWI’S social programming allows you to intimately explore the structure of Ghanaian social, health and medical institutions, becoming unavoidably inspired by a community of committed working professionals; whose societies development and the fulfilment of its people has been noticeably prevented by a corrupt government and an inequitable social order.

In personal reflection, my experience with AFAWI entirely motivated and inspired my greater involvement and commitment towards social development, both towards Africa and on a wider international scale. AFAWI’S internship scheme facilitates social development both for the local community and for ones own personal development, where an intern will find themselves confronted with issues of programming ethics, the diversity of culture, as well as gaining a deep insight into local Christian and Islamic faith. I recommend this experience to anyone who is passionate about social development, human aid and the complexities of cultural variation, and to someone who will be inspired and not discouraged by an opportunity to work independently and initiatively on an inspiring ground roots development project.

Program:
Location:
Posted: January 24, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10
Age:
20

My four week experience volunteering at AFAWI was short but sweet. I gained a surprisingly large amount of experience and knowledge despite only being there for a month, and I believe my ability to do so is reflective of the quality and efficiency of AFAWI, and how it works with its volunteers.

Despite never having officially worked in microfinance before, I was immediately given a lot of trust and responsibility upon arriving at AFAWI. Volunteers who were already there showed me a lot of support and my ability to quickly become acquainted with the work that was being carried out, definitely enhanced my overall experience. Furthermore, I was able to work directly with local people and coordinate, exactly where money and resources were directed. This, I believe, was one of the huge benefits of working within a grassroots NGO, and a fantastic way for anyone interested in the field of development to gain a strong insight into what the field involves.

Although the work itself was extremely challenging at times, the support I got from fellow volunteers and Philip, was excellent, and helped me to achieve my goals with my fellow team members.

Not only did the work I was involved in greatly enhance my experience at AFAWI, but the friendly, family-like atmosphere made my time there unforgettable. I was cooked traditional Ghanaian meals every day, and working and living with Ghanaians gave me a strong insight into the culture, which I do not believe I could have gained at any other NGO. As a foreigner, I was granted the chance to become a part of this unique lifestyle, and the ability to always feel accepted and appreciated made my summer an unforgettable experience.

Overall, I would strongly recommend anyone interested in development, to look into volunteering with AFAWI. Their volunteering times are flexible and span all year round, and there is a wide range of projects to get involved in. The great thing about AFAWI is that you do not have to be an 'expert' in the field to feel like you can make a difference. You just need to be enthusiastic, open minded and ready to learn. From this, as I did, you can have an amazing experience.

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Location:
Posted: October 11, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
8
Value:
8
Age:
19

I spent four weeks at AFAWI working on the final stages of Operation 100. The experience was incredible and taught me a huge amount from skills on carrying out research to understanding Ghanaian culture.

The research project involved going to communities and interviewing locals on their attitudes, behaviours, and knowledge on sex education and HIV awareness. This field work was challenging but rewarding as it allowed me to see some very rural parts of Accra’s districts and speak to locals about their opinions, way of life and education. Back in the office, I carried out data analysis on the data we were collecting and that had been collected over the past two years. This work developed my data handling skills as well as team work with the other volunteer on the project in organising all the research on how we will present it in the final report.

The project was handed to me and the other volunteer to manage on our own, which was great as it let me get straight into it from the start. Over the four weeks, it was hugely rewarding to see the progress we made and the results we had collected.

AFAWI in general is a great NGO to work at because it is small and so lets you make a real difference to the project you are working on, and it is really in touch with the communities it aims to help. Living with the other volunteers is a great way to meet people with similar interests to your own, and I went on weekend trips away with them, which was so much fun and let me see more of Ghana.

Overall, I had an amazing time at AFAWI and gained a huge amount from the whole experience - skills for my MSc studies and future career as well as personal development. I recommend it to anyone who wants to work on a project and see the difference they make to the local communities.

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Location:
Posted: September 25, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9
By: Louisa K
Age:

The six weeks working with AFAWI is a great experience for me. I had lots of responsibilities working on a research project on sex education in public junior high school in Ghana. Every day at AFAWI I was bombarded with multiple challenges, yet never have I gained so much experience in different implementation stages in the field of development. The alarming status quo of sex education in Ghana learnt from my fieldwork also motivates me put more efforts and passions in the field of reproductive health and sex education.

Working for a grass-root NGO offers a more holistic and down-to-earth picture of development compared with what I have learnt from my previous working experience with the headquarters of a big international organization and a branch of a Chinese government. Instead of working as a tiny assembly in a huge bureaucratic system with neither an general picture of the organization in mind, nor knowledge about the specific implementation stages, in AFAWI every volunteer is endowed with hands-on experience and multiple duties on each development stage of the project one is involved, and is allowed to take initiatives in designing and launching one’s own project. Working with AFAWI is a particularly invaluable experience for me. Interested in running my own NGO one day, I gained a lot of transferable skills including project implementation, fund raising techniques, team coordination and management of domestic issues. It is a great pleasure to work and live with colleagues coming from multicultural backgrounds sharing the same passion and aspiration for development. Learning to live and work with people is no less a enriching and rewarding lesson than all job responsibilities themselves.

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Location:
Posted: August 6, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9
By: Keren Zhu
Age:
24

I was lucky enough to spend three months with AFAWI. The organisation is small yet effective and the team works relentlessly hard day in day out for the vulnerable demographic of Ghana.

At AFAWI, you very quickly feel at home and become a key player where your voice and ideas are heard and respected. I was able to organise my own schedule and meetings, liaising with all kinds of people across Accra. As well as learn about long-term structural processes in development work, I was able to witness the more immediate and tangible effects that AFAWIs work has on the people the NGO works for. The organisation fosters a culture of self-reflection and is constantly aware of the challenges and lessons within development work.

On a professional level, both the field and office work have been invaluable to me, and on a personal level I felt as though I have gained lifelong friends. I would recommend this NGO to anyone with an open mind who wants to work for a hands-on grass roots development organisation that is making a real difference to the people it serves.

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 31, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9
Age:
23

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