Celine Trauschke’s iKapa experience
Updated: Mar 16
We caught up with past iKapa intern, Celine Trauschke who is naturally curious and eager to get stuck in. Read what she had to say about her time as an intern in Cape Town.
4 Fun-Fact Questions:
Favourite South African food?
Lunch Bar chocolate
Most memorable tourist activity you experienced while living in SA?
Helicopter flight around Cape Town & safari
Most interesting South African word that you came across?
Springboks (the name of one of the antelope species in South Africa, which is also their national animal & the name of their national Rugby team)
Describe your internship experience in South Africa using only 3 words…
Educational, unforgettable, emotional
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Celine and I’m from the Western part of Germany. From 2016 to 2019 I studied Public Administration in Cologne. I currently stay in Düsseldorf where I work for the Düsseldorf District Management in the sector of urban development. We financially support underdeveloped areas to build public green areas or communal facilities etc.
What first inspired the thought to want to go to South Africa?
South Africa first came up on my radar in 2010 when I saw the FIFA World Cup on TV, which was being hosted there. I fell in love with the lovely people and beautiful landscape. At the same time, it made me sad to see all the development during and after the World Cup, e.g all the huge sports stadiums that were built that wouldn’t really have a use after it was all over, yet so much money was “wasted” on building them.
What, in turn, actually made you decide to go to South Africa to do an internship?
I wanted to experience South Africa on my own. The people, their culture, their different languages and of course, the beautiful nature. I was impressed by how happy, friendly and open-hearted the communities seemed, although they have way less than we in the Western world do. I wanted to get to know different points of views and experience other styles of living. I thought an internship in South Africa would really broaden my personal horizon and I was right.
Tell us about the child protection mapping project that you worked on while doing your internship
My internship focused on doing a situational analysis of one of the 10 identified safe communities within Connect Network (the organization I interned at) in the Strand area. In order to gain insight into the mapping of child protection assets and gaps, I collaborated with the staff of the Phambili Community Development.
My tasks included working through research papers done in the past, designing a questionnaire concentrating on child protection and wellbeing in the identified area, as well as visiting local schools to talk to different children in person.
Finally, I wrote a full report on my outcome to summarise all of the new insights and findings.
What stood out to you about child protection needs in that community?
At many points, I was really shocked by what most of the children have to experience at their young age: violence, rape, neglect, malnutrition, to only name a few problems. One thing really stuck in my mind: next to the Phambili Community Center is a big playground surrounded by a high fence. On that fence there is a sign which reads “No guns or alcohol.” At first, the sign didn’t make sense to me because I never associated these things with young children.
I think what the children in that area need the most is supervision / an after-care program because many parents can’t give their children the attention they need. In my opinion, education is something that needs to be focused on in that area. Education that will help people to realise what is right and what is not and to make the community a better place. Education that will help people to rise above their circumstances and to build a better life for themselves. Education is a key tool in helping people to reach their goals and fulfill their dreams.
Did your internship influence your career path in any way?
The internship didn’t really influence my career path, but it made an impact on my personality. I regularly look back on this time and think about how much I enjoyed it, how much I learned, and how many amazing people I met. My experience made me reflect upon myself, our ways of living in the Western world, and how privileged we are. Still, many people keep complaining. I really admire the people I met in the communities in South Africa and how happy they were despite their lack of material things. These people know what really matters in life. Things like family, music, fun & dancing. They showed me that you never have to lose your smile.
What was the all-time highlight of your time in SA?
Besides the typical tourist activities, an afternoon in one of the townships with my colleague, Phumza, definitely comes to mind. After work one day, we went there by a typical south African taxi / mini bus. I loved this kind of transportation because it was very different to what I have experienced before. After we arrived at her home, she prepared a typical South African meal for us two and made fun of me because I couldn’t eat properly only using my hands. Later on, I got to know the kids living next door to her and loved dancing and playing on the streets with them. At the same time, I was very shocked by their living conditions, seeing their little shacks without running water etc. I was touched by all the lovely people around and how they warmly welcomed me into their community. They were extremely friendly, open-hearted and just made me feel special.
What piece of advice would you give to new interns thinking about applying to iKapa?
I recommend being open-minded and being willing to experience something new. It will make you grow personally, through having conversations with people who have another cultural background than you do. You should use every day wisely to get the best out of it and to learn as much as possible because time goes so fast! An internship is the perfect opportunity for you to offer your time and knowledge to help people in need but to also experience something that changes your life at the same time.