Registered Charitable Taxation no. CHY 9078

Hi there! My name is Aisling and I have been working at Aidlink as the Communications and Sponsorship Intern for the last three months. At the end of May I finished my undergraduate degree in German and Sociology and I was faced with the reality of entering the big bad (post graduate) world! Luckily this was made less daunting and much more exciting as I was given the opportunity to join the Aidlink team. (Above: Aisling with a fellow Aidlink volunteer at the VHI Mini Marathon)

During my final year in college I studied certain aspects of the not-for-profit sector but there’s nothing like working in an NGO environment to truly understand how everything works. The internship gave me a great insight into the hard work and dedication that goes into running Aidlink. Working with Anne, Aishling, Tom and Darina has taught me an invaluable amount about the importance of long-term, sustainable development. Through Aidlink’s partnership model, they have supported the drilling of bore holes and the construction of shallow wells, improved water and sanitation infrastructure and given hygiene training which has provided roughly 347,000 people over the last ten years with cleaner, safer water. Their work has changed the lives of so many and continues to do so!

I’m very interested in gender studies so I was keen to learn about Aidlink’s work with women and girls. As you can see across their social media accounts, empowering women and girls is extremely important at Aidlink. Improving access to resources such as clean water and providing girl-friendly latrines gives girls the opportunity to attend school and to feel safe in their school environments. An increase in primary school enrolment for girls in Kenya and Uganda proves that Aidlink’s long-term work has incredible results and its Aidlink’s drive to empower women and girls that has made me realise I want to continue working in the not-for-profit sector. (Right: Bbaale Primary School children in Uganda)

I was also introduced to the wonderful monthly event that is Women on Wednesday at Whelan’s. It’s so important to give a platform to female creativity in Ireland and that is exactly what WOW does.  All proceeds go towards Aidlink’s Girls’ Education Programme in rural Kenya. I would HIGHLY recommend giving the Facebook page a like and bopping along to the next event! Aidlink has many more musical fundraisers in the pipeline, from Hey Troubadour to Aidlink for Turkana in the NAtional Concert Hall, which I’m looking forward to. (Left: Sasha Terfous performing spoken word at WOW)

The internship at Aidlink was an amazing experience for me. It was a great introduction to the working world. Not only did I learn about Aidlink’s development work, I also learned how to use a number of different software programmes and gained administration and social media management skills that will be a great help in the future.

A HUGE thank you to Anne, Aishling, Tom and Darina for being so kind, open and patient with me. Aidlink is an inspiring organisation to work with and I loved being a part of the team.

Learn more about Aidlink’s work on their website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter