From Venice to Nigeria to volunteer
di AIESEC Italia
“Six weeks are enough to change a person’s life and a whole future”. Read Martina Fratter’s AIESEC internship experience.
Martina Fratter is 21 and is from Venice, Italy. She is a university student and she is also part of AIESEC, the world’s largest organization run by students, present in over 110 countries and territories and with over 60,000 members. She has joined an AIESEC volunteering internship.
- What are you studying? Which university are you attending?
My name is Martina Fratter, I’m 2 and I’m attending the third year of Foreign languages at Cà Foscari University, in Venice.
- What kind of internship did you choose and why?
I’ve chosen to do a volunteering internship based on community development, because I’ve always been interested in volunteering and I knew that it was the right time to have a long experience abroad.
- Which country and which city did you go to?
I went to Nigeria, in the city of Jos, in the northern-east part of the country.
- How long did your internship last?
My internship last 6 weeks, but time was going so fast that they seemed even less.
- What was your internship about exactly?
My internship was about HIV prevention and awareness, that in Nigeria is still a hard topic. A lot has already been done, but a lot more still has to be done. My project was called ASK project, that stands for Answers, Solutions and Knowledge, an initiative that is developed by AIESEC in many African countries where the organization is present. I was working with a local NGO, mainly doing data analysis work and monitoring health and wealth conditions in rural areas, where we were doing, in teams, weekly visit and evaluation. I was working in secondary schools as well, delivering sessions about HIV, prevention, and love life.
- Five things you learnt during the internship?
1-I’ve learnt to not have expectations about anything, about what to have and what not to have during my internship
2-I’ve learnt to be patient and to take things as they come, always with a smile on my face, just like African people usually do
3-I’ve learnt that 6 weeks are enough to change a person’s life and a whole future
4-I’ve learnt that true friendship goes beyond time, gender, skin colour, and distance;
5-I’ve learnt that everything you set to your mind is possible to be achieved, it’s just up to you to not give up.
- Why did you choose to go to Africa and to Nigeria in particular?
When I was about to choose my internship, I was sure that Africa would have been my first choice, because I’ve felt ready to take this challenge and ready for this beautiful continent I was not so aware of at that time. Nigeria was my choice because of the project I would have done, since I wanted to do something special for others, and to give a concrete aid to people in need.
- What was the best moment of your experience?
I’m not able to choose a single best moment of my experience, because there have been so many good moments in my staying in Nigeria that I can’t say which one was the best. I can say that the best part of my experience were the people that I’ve met, because I believe that the people you meet in every kind of experiences make the experience good and worthwhile, and are part of your growth and future. For 6 weeks I felt like I was at home, not missing my country at all, and for this I have to thank the people that were part of this experience.
- Would you change your experience in any way?
I would not change my experience in any way, I would keep all the good and bad sides of my internship, because it was just up to me to take the good out of all the experiences that I had. That was the only way to grow and reach a true awareness.
- Any suggestions for students who are about to leave on an AIESEC internship?
Don’t expect too much from your internship and from yourself as well, be open to new things, don’t be afraid to let yourself go and live to the fullest this experience, that for some people could just be one of the many experiences that they will have, but for others could be the turning point of a whole life.