InKind South Africa (Kaya Responsible Travel) - South Africa

Virtual Internship
Grant Year

Final Report: In Kind SA, Kaya Responsible Travel – South Africa

My internship at In Kind commenced on the 24th of May. In my first week, I spent time familiarizing myself with the organization and the digital education landscape in rural South Africa. During the first two weeks, I was tasked with creating a database of other organizations that are in the digital education space to create a directory for In Kind that they can utilize when looking for organizations to collaborate with and expand their programs to other parts of South Africa outside of Cape Town.  Performing this task in the first weeks of the internship while being introduced to the history and culture of South Africa in our Kaya Cultural workshops helped me gain an in-depth understanding of the root cause of educational disparities in South Africa. It also helped me see the value of In Kind’s work, especially at a time where the disparities the pandemic amplified these disparities. After two weeks of acquainting myself with the education disparities in South Africa, and understanding how In Kind seeks to alleviate them, I was launched into the practical side of In Kind’s mission.

On June 7th, I started working with my supervisor to create funding proposals for the organization's coding and robotics pillar. In Kind has two main pillars: Young Minds of Mzansi and the Coding and Robotics pillar. In Kind aims to enhance two of the most deficient areas in South African education: creative writing and digital literacy. My work focused on the coding and robotics pillars. As such, I began writing funding proposals to present to tech companies that expressed interest in funding In Kind; organizing and maintaining important financial documents to make them easily accessible to tech companies that may wish to fund the organization. During these two weeks, I learned how to translate what I had learned about In Kind and the deficiency of computer literacy in rural South African schools into concise words, data, and visuals that would distinctly demonstrate the urgency for organizations such as In Kind to potential funders. This helped me sharpen my writing skills, slide designs skills, and organizational skills.

In the fifth week, my internship focused broadly on the NGO space in South Africa. This was one of the fundamental aspects of my internships since one of my greatest motivations to apply for the Kellogg Virtual Internship was to get a clear picture of what working in an NGO or running my own NGO would look like.  I spent the last two weeks of June working on the financial and administrative side of the organization. I used the knowledge from my business economics classes to consolidate the budget of the organization’s two pillars, and I created a filing system for the organization’s founding documents as stipulated by the governmental body that monitors NGOs in South Africa: The Ministry of Social Development.  Additionally, I helped create and monitor the organization’s funding platform.

Given that one of my professional aspirations is to work in international development, I took the initiative of expanding my international network by building a relationship with my colleagues that were working in-country but on different projects. So, in the last three weeks of my internship, I met with the team working in South Africa to discuss our projects, our motivation to work at In Kind, and brainstorm innovative ways to increase the company’s digital engagement.

To engage the youth in the issue of educational disparities and increase In Kind’s digital footprint, my team and I decided to host a virtual Mandela Day Conference. My role was to design advertising material such as personalized invites for our esteemed speakers and digital posters.  The conference aimed to create room for dialogue with industry experts on how the government and computer literacy organization could integrate their programs into the current education system in South Africa. We also had the privilege to exchange ideas with other organizations that are in the coding and robotic space in other provinces such as Eastern Cape—a province outside of Cape Town. This gave me great insights into the role of non-state actors in youth development and, how development issues could be tackled more effectively through collaboration and dialogue.

My internship at In Kind met my expectations in numerous ways. It allowed me to explore different opportunities that exist in the NGO space from administration to financial management, to research and policy. It also allowed me to engage critically with South Africa’s social issues outside of the basic knowledge we learned during our Kaya Cultural Workshops. I also enjoyed the buddy chats I had weekly with a Kaya staff member. They allowed me to engage deeply with the diverse and intricate South African cultures, which unearthed a new level of understanding and appreciation of the different cultures of the world. My Kellogg Virtual Internship was both a professionally and personally fulfilling experience.