Aboard, (Spring) Academy of 2017!

Ten, slightly nervous students trickled into the hall little by little. A green visitor card pinned on their chests. Soon, they would no longer just be visitors. They were
introduced to each other as the ten new interns of Oxfam Novib! I am very glad
I am one of them.

Luckily, we were not thrown into the deep end completely. Before starting our internships, we got to meet each other and the organization during the two-day introduction program of the Oxfam Novib Academy. The Oxfam Novib Academy, set up to bring together
theory and practice, offers students the opportunity to develop themselves
professionally while working towards a more just world.

Besides working on different tasks in different departments, the Academy offers us bi-weekly sessions in which we will discuss topics related to development and receive
additional support where needed. Next to these sessions, several events will be
organized by us to share our internship experiences with other Oxfam Novib
employees. And last but not least: this blog will be the platform on we will share
our stories with anyone interested in Oxfam Novib or development in general.

Getting to know each other

Meet the new interns: Eline, Emil, Joris, Louise, Melissa, Marion, Nina, Saskia, Marjorie and Yvette. After a quick introduction round we played a name game, which was harder than it might seem. After we finally learned each other’s names and got to know about
some of our craziest stories, we were ready to learn more about what we were
here for: Oxfam Novib!


….and Oxfam Novib

It was none other than director Farah Karimi who told ours more in-depth about Oxfam Novib as an organization and where the organization stands for. After a brief but inspiring talk about the increasingly interconnected world in which we all have to play our part, we got the opportunity to ask her questions. After learning more about the
organization and the beliefs and motives that drive Oxfam Novib, we explored
the building and talked to our soon-to-be colleagues.

Empowerment, Inclusiveness and Accountability

Empowerment, inclusiveness and accountability: the three values of Oxfam Novib. This was one of the things we learned during our corporate communication workshop on Wednesday. On Thursday we had another workshop on gender equality in which we played the so-called ‘power line game’ in which not only gender inequality was addressed but also our own prejudices were challenged.


Later that day we got the opportunity to put Oxfam’s three values into practice; we were given the option to join the #HollandagainstHate protest at the Malieveld. It was
inspiring to see that even on a rainy day in The Hague, so many people showed
up to express their discontent with the policies of Donald Trump. I believe
this shows there is hope for a more inclusive and tolerant future.

“We can change the system not only by helping people. It is also about us. Our way of life.
How the economic order and global relationships are organized” -Farah Karimi

Work hard, play hard

Next to all the fun activities, we quickly found out
that something else was expected from us during the introduction days. While
having lunch in the canteen on Wednesday, some of us spotted a poster, promoting
the pitches that we were supposed to deliver on Thursday. While nervous at
first, we all delivered powerful pitches, informing our new colleagues about
ourselves, our motivations and our internship expectations.


We ended the two introduction days with a quest around The Hague during which we had to complete several (slightly embarrassing task) tasks. I shall not dwell on over the exact tasks, but feel free to stop by one of us and ask for a video or photo from the

I can say that, and I think speak for all us of, that we had two great introduction days. Thanks to Gwendolyn and Esther form the Oxfam Novib Academy for making this all possible. We are very excited to start our time at Oxfam Novib!

Welcome aboard spring academy of 2017!


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