Panom Peter: My Internship Experience at #DefyHateNow

I had the opportunity to work as an intern with the #DefyHateNow Organization as a South Sudan Analyst. I learnt  so much about the work that the organization does towards enhancing and building trust between South Sudanese communities, which includes organizing youth engagement training sessions, focus group  discussions and workshops with the aim of creating safe spaces for communities to find mutual understanding on how to overcome hate speech that incites violence in the country and diaspora.     

In the course of my internship, I have  actively contributed towards achieving the organization’s objectives and vision by applying the knowledge I have obtained during my studies.  I was assigned to work in the project known as Space for Ideas, Freedom, Transformation and Action (SIFTA), which focuses on engaging South Sudanese youth in the diaspora on peace building and peaceful co-existence between communities. The experience was beneficial, and gave me a  chance to work on so many different projects and use the developmental practices that I acquired in the classroom,and has overall offered me so much insight.

During twelve-week  internship, I have accumulated a wide knowledge and skills through activities and tasks that have been assigned to me by my supervisor, and  with the encouragement from the team I managed to excel. Part of my job was to write Social Media Health reports on a weekly basis, which was initially challenging since I knew very little about the industry. It took a lot of learning to reach the point where I could carry out research through digital media monitoring, data analysis, and write reports. 

 Apart from that, I have gained professional knowledge and skills; I have  improved my writing, communication and management skills, and further developed my  ability to interact with people from different cultural backgrounds and planning events.

Effective communication helped me to foster strong working relationships with the rest of the team and most importantly with the youth and elders during focus group discussions. I have learnt how to approach work ethically and with honesty, commitment, transparency and accountability. The #Defyhatenow team demands the highest ethical values  from every staff and partners who are in support of the organization’s mission and vision.

 I’m glad that I have learnt more about the future impact goals for #DefyHateNow, and  was able to contribute to peace building and creates awareness for peaceful coexistence among South Sudan communities in South Sudan and diaspora communities.