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When I applied to Operation 1325, I was clear that I wanted my internship period to involve varied and challenging tasks. I sought to gain knowledge and insights into how civil society works and collaborates, both in Sweden and between countries.

I believe it is equally important for us as students to learn and grow during our internship period as it is for the organization hosting us to benefit from our presence. I am soon completing my three-year Bachelor’s degree in Development and International Cooperation at Södertörn University, a program I highly recommend. I have had an interest in photography, communication, and information dissemination, which have been part of my main responsibilities here at Operation 1325.

Ten weeks into my internship, I am grateful for having contributed to and gained new experiences and knowledge. No days have been the same, and my to-do list has never come close to being empty. Some of the tasks I have performed include producing social media posts, creating newsletters, event invitations, and advertisements. I have also become familiar with project and organizational development, crowdfunding (Appell Sudan), reports, grant applications, audits, and much more. I have had the opportunity to meet new people and expand my network, which I truly appreciate. I have attended Concord’s annual meeting and anniversary celebration, acted as a photographer during events, visited International IDEA, and met many others within Operation 1325’s network.

In addition to my work tasks, I have gained another important insight, namely how the sudden reprioritization of Swedish aid by the new government has had a severe impact on Swedish civil society. It has caused many organizations to abruptly end their activities in Sweden and partner countries. This has created a crisis situation for many organizations, where significant sacrifices are made in the hope of being able to continue some form of activities. Currently, organizations are discussing ways to come together to amplify their voices.

I am now counting my final days, not only as an intern at Operation 1325 but also as a student at Södertörn University. I am more than excited about how the future will unfold, and I will carry with me the belief that together we can make a difference. With that said, I would like to thank Anette, for her always positive “it will work out” attitude, and her excellent guidance.

Until next time, Caroline Petersen