In today’s professional world, it takes more than a degree or a diploma and a winning smile to convince employers to hire you. Internships are gateways to show your commitment to professionalism, self-improvement, and excellence. LUKMEF in its mandate of empowering communities and individuals to take leadership of their development has instituted the Professional Internship Program now at its 8th Batch across her offices (Buea, Bamenda, Kumba and Douala). The current batch enrolled a total number of 76 graduates across her offices for the January-July 2023 session.
With the objective of ensuring all admitted interns have an understanding of LUKMEF, its operations and the professional internship program, its inter-linkages to the job market and the established sectors’ and departments’ mandates, the Buea, Bamenda and Douala Offices convened an Orientation session on Friday 13th, Tuesday 17th of January, 2023 at the respective LUKMEF offices.
The session in Buea brought in all the newly admitted interns of the 8th batch, the Sector/Departmental leads, current batch of Professional Interns, LUKMEF coordination and the Internship Program Coordinator.
In his welcome words, the National Coordinator, Mr. Stephen Nfor highlighted:
“What LUKMEF has done through this program is to provide the opportunity to pick up skills which is exactly what the Job market wants….so take advantage, put in your best and do well to disconnect from other areas of distraction and Bury yourself into the program and when you come out of this, you will be able to connect and be more valuable to your communities than now,…we encourage you to do your best….On behalf of the administration of LUKMEF, I hereby welcome you and wish you all the best and have a great time here at LUKMEF”
Adding to the presentations made by the Internship Coordinator, MEAL, Child Protection, Gender, Environment Protection and WASH, Logistics and Transport, ICT4Development, Health, Finance and Project Accounting, Human Resource, Education, Access and Security; the session reiterated the need for these enrolled graduates to remain focus, leave their comfort zone, navigate to be resilient in times of challenges, have zeal and a spirit of commitment, empathy, networking and a good character in their guise of tapping skills within the program.
In Bamenda, In his words of encouragements, the Assistant Head of Office for LUKMEF Bamenda, Mr. Kenneth Nji expressed, “I will encourage you to use this opportunity, its a great opportunity as not all organisations out there are willing to give the chance to young people like you to learn something. Here in LUKMEF, we love to teach, love to give out knowledge, love to empower young people and love to equip you with the necessary skills to go out there and make the difference….what ever your motivations are, you are in the right place. Put in your best and go ahead to learn and grab the pieces of skills for Tommorrow. Enjoy your stay”.
Adding to the words of the Assistant Head of Office, Madam Blessing, Head of Office for LUKMEF Bamenda on her part reiterated the need for the newly engaged interns to consider this opportunity as a humble beginning for career development. She added that there is need for continuous learning and admitted the readiness of the team to work with and learn from the interns towards this journey of career development.
Within the section of Departmental mandates, the Food security department, Gender, Child Protection, ENV/WASH, Access and Security, Logistics and Transport, MEAL, ICT for Development were present at the session . They all provided in depth highlights about their various departmental mandates. Besides the above, the HR provided highlights on the Health Department, Human Resource, Education, Resource Mobilisation and the Finance and Project Accounting. Extracts of departmental presentation are presented as follows
Finally, the douala office receives one intern within the Gender department and the Case Manager provided orientation to the engaged intern. At the end of the session the intern gained understanding about LUKMEF and its operations, the Internship Program and relation compliance policies of the organisation.
At the official kick off day of the Professional Internship for the January-July 2023 session for Buea, the CEO and Founder of LUKMEF Cameoon, Mr. Tanyi Christian, made his way and coached the selected interns with words of congratulations and encouragements: He expressed “Its just the beginning of a long Journey, the journey of determining your future developing your own Career. I must say that it will all depends on you but we also understand that we need to accompany most of you”
He outlined the need for these determined graduate to be sensitive with their environment, be sensitive with people around them and stressed on the fact that it all depends on them. He alerted them to know that in life there is no smooth curve yet, he reassured them that its possible to get to the point of their dreams, all defined by their total determination and focus.
In the journey of career development he stressed ” in the midst of challenges, we don’t complaint, rather we find solutions…” He added that “complaining blocks our intellect, most young people see everything as problem and not as opportunities.” He encouraged them to see problems as opportunities to develop better ideas for growth and to engage in asking questions beyond the problems. He called on them to admit as their ultimate focus that “its possible and to admit that they are up to to the tasks at all times.”
With the increase need for skills acquisition accorded by graduates, LUKMEF is working on to establish collaborations with other local organizations, increase higher institution collaboration, and increase education and speaker sessions with students within Higher institutions to raise awareness on post graduation challenges and realities, self actualization and career orientation.
The need to strengthen other Local organizations towards setting systems and improving their capacities on internship management to take up this load of high need for internships and practical skills acquisition so as to increase youths participation within the Civic space and reduce out migration and reduce unemployment within the country.