Why did you choose to do an internship at EFTC?
I was interested in learning more about how NGOs providing education work. It was especially interesting to me that EFTC also has an office in the UK, meaning I could see how a charity works with two geographical bases over 8000km apart. I study Spanish and International Management at university so I wanted to be somewhere that speaks Spanish. Also, having spent three months in Honduras, almost four years ago, I already knew I loved the culture, people and nature you can find in Central America, but was excited to get to know the intricacies of a new country.
How long did you do your internship for?
Originally, the plan was to work from April to July but after spending two months at the school I had to return to the UK for a family emergency. I booked a return flight because it was actually cheaper than a single to London so I was hopeful that I would be able to return. 5 weeks later, and with a broken foot, I was on the flight back ready to finish my internship. So about 3 months in total.
What did you do?
During my time at EFTC I have been given so many opportunities to learn about the charity and the responsibility to take on a wide variety of projects. One of these projects was creating a Volunteer Ambassador Programme, which focuses on encouraging participation of volunteers once they have left Guatemala. The programme has three tracks: Fundraising, Outreach and Volunteer Recruitment.
I also updated and maintained the Salesforce platform with information from volunteers, sponsors, and donors. These tasks are vital for EFTC’s finances, and helps track information for the 5-year Strategic Plan. I learnt how to create posters and leaflets on Canva and newsletters on MailChimp.
It was great to be able to use my Spanish everyday as well through the job when I was translating or contacting suppliers for the small store run by the volunteer coordinator or with the students and staff. As well as working in the office I also chose to be a classroom assistant in the mornings. I helped out with the English classes for students 13-16.
What was the best thing about working at EFTC?
I love coming to school and finding something different everyday whether that be the dance show that all grades took part in, the volleyball competition, water conservation workshops, health screening for the mums and so much more. There was always so much going on and planned for the children. I got to attend a trip to the San Carlos Public University with the top grade students which was really inspiring, judge the science fair competition, assist with health surveying the primary kids and help paint two of the classrooms as part of the FYFL campaign.
It truly inspired me to see how much one organisation can support the lives of so many children in so many different areas and to see every single penny of donations being used so effectively on something beneficial to the educational, nutritional and mental well-being of the students here.
Would you recommend doing an internship at EFTC?
Yes, I really recommend it to anyone interested in the nonprofit world, Central America, education issues and/or improving their Spanish. It’s so hard to leave once you have made a connection with the pupils, staff and the country but you will come away feeling empowered and ready to spread the word of EFTC and continue making a difference wherever you find yourself next.