First Class graduate Fred Kooijmans has told us about his summer internship and how this has led on to some research after his degree:

Through the department and particularly thanks to the input of  Dr Reginald Cline-Cole I was offered an internship opportunity with the international child development organisation Hope and Homes for Children in the summer of 2010. The internship entailed a research project in possibilities for monitoring and evaluating an ongoing development project strengthening community capacity to address the vulnerability of children and youth. 

This experience helped me to link theoretical knowledge with practical application and has been an encouraging and valuable contribution to my third year in African Studies with Development. It has also been successful towards my start in a career in international development, since it translated in an employment opportunity immediately after graduation in which I was offered the opportunity to put my research in practice. 

At the time of writing, I am developing a monitoring and evaluation model that combines quantitative and qualitative assessment methods to determine the impacts that the development interventions of Hope and Homes for Children has on local capacity as well as the well-being of children and youth within a coal mining community in South Africa. This is a challenging and fascinating exercise and the experiences and knowledge that I have gained throughout my studies at the Centre of West African Studies have been an excellent preparation to work in a demanding environment.