Sunday, June 21, 2015

London beyond the rain...

Kensington park

I love London when it does not rain. The city amazed me by its beautiful parks where families can enjoy time together. According to the Independent, 47% of the city is green space. I wish Abidjan had such spaces for children to play safely and for people like me to enjoy rides or readings. Another great fact about London is the number of cyclists. It is not rare to see many cyclists riding in front of the bus without worrying that they might get hurt. I can’t even imagine this in my country and for that I say great job Londoners! What is still awkward for me after being in London for more than three weeks (in addition to the variety of accents) is the fact that the driver seats on the right side of the car. I still don’t know where to look at before crossing roads and I end up having a torticollis. Whatever…

From the top of Unilever House

One of the reason why I am in London, besides the fact that I love travelling – out of my comfort zone –, is that I am having my first professional experience. I obtained this internship through the Intern Group which is an organization that makes accommodations for students around the world to have an international work experience. So here I am, in London, interning as a Communication and Fundraising Intern with Beyond Food Foundation.

I love the cat attitude

The first day I arrived, I was offered a box of Belgium chocolates. No need to mention then that I love this internship. Beyond Food Foundation is a charity aiming to inspire and motivate people at risk of, or who experienced homelessness to gain meaningful employment. Though 3 programs which are Freshlife, Get Stuck In and the United Kitchen Apprenticeship, they train and mentor people affected by homelessness in London and therefore also contribute to reduce unemployment. As my first work experience, I did not know what to expect. But the convivial atmosphere, and the importance of our mission helped me to be more comfortable. I had the opportunity to visit some apprentices at their work, the kitchen of Unilever staff (I enjoyed a wonderful barbecue from the Chef), assisted to cheese masterclasses demonstration, and got an entry for Taste of London.
Thank you Chef!

Working to impact the future of someone is something, but having the chance to see and eat some free delicious meals along the way is definitely one of the best way I could start my entry into the professional world. I am so grateful for having this opportunity to meet incredible people who care about others. St Augustine said that the world is a book and those who do not travel, read only one page…. You know how much I love reading, so staying at one page is definitely not for me. Take the opportunity to go somewhere else. It doesn’t matter whether it is in a new country or just a new city. There are so much things to see behind your windows. I wish that everything I am learning here, and will have the chance to learn in other places, will give me the skills to provide meaningful solutions to some of Cote d’Ivoire’s issues. But for now, let me enjoy my remaining days in London and help to inspire others. 

Keeping the child in me