oicd interns in a call
Interns on the program are given a guest lecture by Steve Medeiros

article by Robert Cooper – OICD Senior Officer – Internship Program

The OICD are excited to announce the conclusion of a pilot 12-week internship program, in partnership with Sunrays Foundation (providing sustainable community-based solutions in South Sudan) and in collaboration with the Ashinaga International Students Association (AISA: representing sub-Saharan-African Scholars in the Ashinaga African Initiative leadership program). Aimed at empowering a geographically and culturally wide range of university students with identity-based knowledge and skills to promote the release of positive human potential in their communities, the program also provided interns with an opportunity, in an online, international format, to work on teams and gain practical experience by contributing to the OICD mission through research, content-writing and video-editing. 

From Africa and Across the World

Hailing from South Sudan, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda, five interns from Sunrays and five from AISA — thank you Rosina Mothapo, Rogers Kisangi, Raina Charles, Nawiso Wenepaida, Joseph Kouadio, Ibegwam Chigaemezu, Fatoumata Timité, Christine Dobgerengere, Betty Tilahun and Anthony Balasi! — as well as Saron X from ArtEz University, in the Netherlands, and existing intern Cormac Auty, based in the U.K., participated in this groundbreaking initiative. Thank you all for taking part! The truly diverse community and academic backgrounds of our interns enriched the experience for all of us.

A 12 week Program

Over the 12 weeks, the interns engaged in interactive workshops on identity, led by OICD founder Bruce White (Director), and participated in hands-on tasks, organized by Chikara Shimasaki (Senior Officer, Project Development), supported throughout by Robert Cooper (Senior Officer, Internship Programs). We also welcomed guest speaker Steve Mederos, from the William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences, in Boston, for a fascinating and insightful talk on Identity Fusion Theory. 

Conclusion of the Program

At the conclusion of the program, Director Bruce White stated, “It was a real pleasure to welcome young people from Africa and across the world into this unique program. Identity is so relevant to all of our experiences and can create or remove opportunities to live in peaceful and thriving communities. By providing training and experience across the sectors we engage – such as conflict transformation and community development – we hope to support our interns in their journeys to become change agents of the future”.  Sunrays, AISA and OICD are enthusiastic about enhancing the program for the next cohort and about exploring further opportunities for collaboration. 

Voices from the Interns

“I learned a lot from the sessions we had and I’ll definitely be utilizing the knowledge I gained.” Chigaemezu

“This experience has really been so educational. I would definitely like to continue to be involved, as I still have a lot to gain and learn from the group.” – Rania

“I learnt a lot.  I would like to continue with the educational sessions and to help with ongoing projects.” – Rogers

To join, support or help sponsor this initiative or any OICD activities, contact us at [email protected] and/or join our Power of Identity mailing list.