David Renaud Umugabe (left), Patrick Semana (middle), and Thierry Kamugisha (right) are three of our current Rwanda interns.
One Acre Fund’s internship program is now accepting applications for a number of positions across eastern and southern Africa. To find out what it’s like to be a One Acre Fund intern and how to make the most of the program, we spoke with three of our most recent interns in Rwanda.
How did you find out about the internship program, and why did you decide to apply?
Patrick Semana, Procurement Team: I first found out about this internship on Facebook. When I opened the link to read about One Acre Fund, I quickly fell in love with the organization. I grew up in a village in Rwanda that was struck by famine in the early 2000s. Many people fled in search of a new life in other areas, especially out of the country. I grew up with a bitter hatred against hunger, so when I learned that One Acre Fund’s ultimate vision is to eradicate hunger, I did not think twice about applying. I saw it not only as an opportunity to enhance my skills, but also to use them in the fight against hunger and poverty.
David Renaud Umugabe, Product Innovations Team: One of my former classmates told me there was an ad on the Internet for an internship at One Acre Fund. I started to read about the organization on its website, blog, and social media, and I realized that its values and approach were something that I wanted to be a part of. Even throughout the recruitment and interview process, One Acre Fund’s team reflected the values of hard work, humble service, and continual growth.
What sort of work do you do as a One Acre Fund intern?
Thierry Kamugisha, Product Innovations Team: My first project has been about advancing soil health. One Acre Fund has conducted a large amount of research in this area, and my task has been to review all of those research papers and trials, to try to understand the soil health status across Rwanda. Hopefully we will be able to identify new initiatives that can improve soil health and impact on the lives of our clients.
Patrick Semana: I am working on two projects related to tendering and storage, which ultimately may help the organization benefit from decreased prices and reinforce relationships with suppliers. I am so far on track to complete my projects, thanks to the help of my entire team. Working at One Acre Fund requires concentration and focus, but everyone is kind and willing to help. This makes learning as an intern very easy. I do weekly check-in meetings with my manager, which provide me with guidance and the kind of help I need to execute tasks. It is also a pleasant time to talk to my manager and listen to their feedback about my work.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship?
David Renaud Umugabe: Being here has provided me with an amazing opportunity to learn from people from different cultures, experiences, and expertise. I’ve had the chance to meet people of who are passionate about serving and putting farmers first in their daily work. This internship has opened my eyes and my mind to what types of career development opportunities are out there, and what my work can achieve.
Thierry Kamugisha: I have always wanted to work in an organization that focuses on agricultural research and technology, so I have enjoyed every moment I’ve spent at One Acre Fund. I have the hope that we can make this country of a thousand hills an East African paradise. Rwanda has a lot of potential—a good climate and favorable temperatures that are suitable for agriculture. We just have to change a very few details about how we farm, and we can achieve a lot. Interning with One Acre Fund has given me the confidence that there are people out there supporting farmers and providing them with new agriculture techniques and access to inputs. I feel lucky to be here, and I hope to remain as long as possible.
One Acre Fund is hiring in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia for its June-August 2017 intern class. Our internships are paid, and any university student or recent graduate with work permission in those countries is eligible. Click here to apply.