Determined Student Lands Internship
Community Development student Ms Ntombikayise Mabaso was given an internship at the Ladysmith municipality thanks to her determination and assistance from her Lecturer, Ms Phindile Shangase.
The internship was in the Planning, Development and Human Settlements Department, under the section of Local Economic Development (LED) at the municipality.
Mabaso says the internship enabled her to learn, gain experience and develop an understanding of how theories of community development can be planned and put into practice.
She was responsible for building the economic capacity of local communities in order to improve their standard of living and their quality of life by working with co-operatives, in which the municipality provides funding, training, and other assistance.
Her tasks filtered into the overall aim of the municipality to address relevant issues and alleviate poverty at the local communities through co-operative strategies.
Mabaso was able to relate theory to practice during her internship duties with most of her tasks linking to the Community Economic Development and Programme/Project Planning modules she studied.
‘I met new people with totally different personalities, attitudes and styles. I’ve learned to put the principles of Community Development into practice and developed new skills and capabilities. I have also become aware of how meetings are organised, how to communicate and engage with stakeholders, to be punctual, and discovered ways to solve problems and tackle arising challenges,’ she said.
Mabaso believes that work placement programmes are important for students to gain experience and practice what they have learned in class as well as to be able to engage with the community they serve with the purpose of improving their quality of life.
She is planning on securing more internships in the future and advised other students to do the same.
Her Lecturer Shangase said: ‘I congratulate Ntombi both as a student and a future Community Development practitioner. I hope other students will follow suit. Organisations willing to offer work placements to our students create an opportunity to explore partnerships.’