Marie Grace Giramhoro
Organization: Agribusiness Focused Partnership Organization
Dates: June 12, 2017 to July 21, 2017
Web link: Agribusiness Focused Partnership Organization
In Marie Grace's own words
How I contributed: I started my internship when AGRIFOP had completed the implementation of RADD II (Rwanda Agro Dealers Development) project. The main aim of the project was to strengthen the agro dealer networks in Rwanda. I developed a questionnaire, and interviewed agro dealers from different parts of Rwanda. I asked them what motivated them to start an agro dealer shop, where did they get their capital, what challenges did they face or are still facing, how have they benefited from the RADD II project, what advice would they give to people aspiring to become agro dealers etc. After conducting these interviews, I wrote successful stories of agro dealers, and these stories will be posted on the organization's website. in addition, I helped in other activities such as the one week agriculture exhibition AGRIFOP participated in.
What I felt most challenged by: Some of the agro dealers I called were not willing to cooperate, where as others would cancel at the last minute. This was something that happened a lot of times, and would affect my schedule.
What I enjoyed most: I enjoyed going to the field, and meeting with agro dealers at their shops. I would spend time at their place, and get to interact with customers. Some of the customers would actually think I work there.
Would I recommend this experience: Yes. This would be a great experience for students who like being in charge and going to the field. Also, the people in Rwanda are very welcoming, and willing to help with any issues you may have.
Valeria San Juan
Organization: FAO in Kigali, Rwanda
In Valeria's own words
How I contributed: I spoke with local farmers about their non-timber forest products operations. From them as well as the interviews with different stakeholders of NTFPs I wrote a report that included suggestions that will be useful for FAO to support these different stakeholders.
What I felt most challenged by: The language barrier as well as the office culture. The pace of work at the office was much slower than I was expecting or that I am used to. There were also some bureaucratic barriers that were difficult to get through.
What I enjoyed most: I really enjoyed going to field site visits and learning about what farmers were doing.
Would I recommend this experience: After some changes in program expectations and logistics I may recommend it to some students.