GRASSROOT SOCCER’S INTERN PROGRAM
What is a GRS Intern?
Each year, Grassroot Soccer selects a small group of recent college graduates and young adults to serve as unpaid, volunteer interns in Africa. Interns fill crucial roles and assist in the successful delivery of Grassroot Soccer’s programs in numerous sites across southern Africa. Interns gain valuable work experience in fields such as international health and education, HIV/AIDS prevention, and youth development through sports. Most importantly, interns develop meaningful, long-term relationships with team and community members to help build capacity, local ownership, and ultimately sustainability.
Grassroot Soccer interns come from many walks of life. Most have recently graduated from college or even finished a graduate degree, while others are young professionals who have been working for several years. Although the intern class is diverse in terms of background and life experience, each intern embodies several key character traits, which are consistent throughout the group: flexibility, creativity, independence, open-mindedness, enthusiasm, cultural sensitivity, and passion. To learn more about current interns, click the following link to read their personal bios and blogs.
How Do Interns Support the GRS Team?
Interns are an integral part of the GRS team and significantly help run the daily operations of the organization. In the early years of Grassroot Soccer programming, interns had been directly involved with curriculum delivery. Today, interns are primarily focused on logistical and programmatic support. Depending on their placements, some interns can expect to spend a good amount of time in the field providing support to the volunteers and staff who manage and run the programs.
Many interns will be assigned to office-based departments, including communication & marketing, curriculum & training, finance, monitoring & evaluation, operations, partnerships, and programs. These interns can expect to be called upon to provide direct program support for program tournaments, graduations, etc. All interns are expected to abide by the same HR and employee policies as fulltime staff.
More detailed information about specific intern job descriptions can be found here.
Life in Africa
Interns will be assigned to work in one of GRS’s sites in southern Africa. The internship is a yearlong (12 months) position and will most usually last from early August until the end of the following July. The internship begins with a weeklong orientation in Hanover, New Hampshire, after which the interns are deployed directly to Africa. The orientation is designed to familiarize interns with GRS culture and programs, as well as provide interns with an opportunity for team building.
Current interns are living and working in South Africa (Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg, and Kimberley), as well as in Lusaka, Zambia. Given each country and site varies greatly, each intern experience is quite unique. The sites differ from an urban city setting to a remote, rural setting, hot to cold climates, and predominately English speaking to predominately Zulu speaking, just to name a few differences. Read more about one intern’s perspective on his time in Africa. Read about the day in the life of an intern in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Grassroot Soccer provides housing and certain work-related expenses on site, and also covers housing and meals for the U.S. orientation. Grassroot Soccer does not provide financial compensation to interns or transportation to the orientation or to/from Africa. Throughout the course of the entire internship, it is the intern’s own responsibility to source funding for airfare, transportation, visa fees, required health insurance, meals, personal activities/travel, and incidentals. Grassroot Soccer suggests that interns plan to have $10,000 available to support themselves during their internship year. For those who will need to fundraise in order to have the necessary dollars to support their internship, GRS will provide suggestions and guidelines to assist with fundraising.
Life Post Internship: Alumni Perspective
Grassroot Soccer has a strong network of more than one hundred former interns who continue to be engaged in GRS after completing internships. Many former interns have continued working for GRS as country directors, program managers, and various other staff roles, while other alumni have pursued various jobs and professional degrees in the fields of medicine, education, and public health to name a few.
Most alumni continue to be engaged in the alumni network and many participate in GRS-related events and activities such as fundraisers, Endurance Events, and Soccer Tournaments. Alumni are also consistently communicating about volunteer work, and GRS regularly reaches out to its alumni network for job opportunities and postings with its partner organizations, affiliates, and key stakeholders.
The experience with Grassroot Soccer doesn’t end after the internship!
How to Apply
The 2014-2015 intern application process is now OPEN. Click here for instructions and the online application.
GRS accepts and processes applications on a rolling basis. To find out more about the application process and what life is like as a GRS intern, please visit our FAQ page.
For further questions or information please contact David Harrison, firstname.lastname@example.org; (603) 877-0289.