A reflection on my internship experience at Levy Mwanawasa Regional Centre (LMRC)

Participating in the internship programme of the Levy Mwanawasa Regional Centre (LMRC) was a great and memorable experience that really enriched my professional profile. I joined the Centre in February 2018 and worked through to September 2018.

My journey with the Centre began after I successfully completed the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship that I pursued at the University of Virginia (UVA) in the United States of America (USA). Up on returning home, I really wanted to have a feel of any of the international organisations working on issues of peace, security and human rights. So I then expressed interest by applying for the Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) sponsored Professional Practicum. When applying, I chose the Levy Mwanawasa Regional Centre (LMRC) and other two international organisations but I was more inclined to joining the Centre because of my interest on issues in the Great Lakes Region. Luckily my dream turned into a reality and I was attached to the Centre, particularly, Fora and Observatory Department as a Human Rights Fellow.

To be honest, this was my first taste of working in an international organisation in which I benefited in many ways as a young professional. The most of it was that I got exposed to a multicultural working environment and I worked on various human rights issues across the Great Lakes Region which ultimately widened my knowledge on human rights and other cross-cutting issues. I was given research tasks including analysing electoral process for some of its member countries and developing of concept notes. These tasks were challenging but I treated them as positive challenges that widened my perspectives on myriad of issues within the operational area of the Centre. During the time I was pursuing these tasks, I got the professional support that needed and I was able to successfully accomplish the tasks. Working at the Centre brought many other opportunities: I met highly professional and amazing staff and I was nominated for a Child Protection course in Kenya which further broadened my professional networks because I met people from different countries and backgrounds. This is something I can point out as one of the biggest ‘take home’ packages of the LMRC’s internship programme. I really wanted to stay more but I guess what shortened my stay is the fact that I got yet another prestigious Chevening scholarship to study in the UK.