Microfinance Internship in Africa
I had the opportunity to perform an internship at the Grounded and Holistic Approach to People’s Empowerment (GHAPE), a social model microfinance organization located in the North West Region of Cameroon.
There, I worked with the office staff performing the regular duties of a GHAPE credit officer. I wrote grants, created borrower profiles for the Kiva website, and was even involved in the day-to-day financial aspects of the organization (data entry, loan distribution, and borrower check-ups). In between our regular duties, during my stay, we secured three separate grants for increasing borrower education, for creating a new borrowing center, and even one more grant for establishing a third major office in Momo Division.
Gaining First-Hand Understanding
Together, these things served as a capstone experience to the University of Bridgeport’s masters program in Global Development and Peace, and not only helped to give me a first hand understanding of microcredit and loan distribution, but also helped me to become much more in tune with the challenges that many countries face in building a better tomorrow.
A Deeper Perspective
With these experiences in hand, I have since been able to
- join the faculty of the College of Public and International Affairs
- to write on the subject of microloan distribution from a more informed perspective
- to become involved in the building of a new Non-Governmental Organization with the help of two other students from the Global Development and Peace program
- expand our activities beyond more academic pursuits and on in to helping people in the rural villages of East Africa.