Hello Blog Readers
My name is Ayesha and was chosen for a Global Challenge placement in South Africa for a company called Opportunity Finance, a microfinance organisation that is part of the international group Opportunity International.
When I saw this internship on the Global Challenge website I was really excited, ever since learning about microfinance I have wanted to get involved in the field. For those of you who don’t know microfinance (micro lending in particular) is giving small loans to people in society who cannot be helped my traditional banking methods perhaps through lack of collateral or that the loan is too small to be profitable. Microfinance helps those with an entrepreneurial spirit access funds. In my internship I will be dealing with Small business data, I will be analysing the data that the company has from its clients of the products they sell and helping create factsheets to increase productivity and efficiency. I will also get to do some field work, visiting some of the businesses and finding out more information first hand which will hopefully add an extra spark to my report.
As well as working, I am lucky that this placement is in such a fascinating location. South Africa is full of beautiful scenery; I have been promised that on the weekends we can explore the mountains and beaches. There is also the challenge of trying to spot the big 5 while I am here (Lions, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros).
I must sound like I am blind to any faults in South Africa so I will let you in on my one major grievance…Its winter here! Obviously not the same sort of winter that we in the UK are used to bearing full of hats and scarves, no it is still at least 20 degrees in the day here. My problem with coming to South African winter is I lose out on the best thing about British summer, the long days! With the sun setting at 5pm there is less chance of exploring after work and more chance of snuggling up in my room skyping the family. However if this is my only complaint I think I’ll manage.