IGS Internships

Social Advocacy

About Wellington

In our survey of New Zealand cities to house our urban-based internships, Wellington stood out above the rest. As the country's capital city, Wellington is a sea-side gem with a vibrant population energized by numerous universities and travelers. The city has a population approaching 180,824, while the region boasts 450,765. The earliest name for Wellington from Maori legend is Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui, which means the head of Maui's fish. Caught and pulled to the surface by Polynesian navigator Maui, the fish became New Zealand's North Island.

Bound by its magnificent harbour, with wooden Victorian buildings terraced up steep hills, New Zealand's capital boasts spectacular views, challenging walks, a thriving cafe and entertainment scene, and serious dedication to the arts make Wellington an enormously enjoyable place in which to spend a few days.

Wellington boasts an impressive array of museums ranging from maritime exhibits to natural history to indigenous and modern art. And while the countryside may not be known for its cuisine, Wellington celebrates some of the best of Asian and middle-eastern cuisine in the Pacific.

It will not be difficult to make friends in Wellington as university students and travelers pour into the streets, pubs and discotheques after nightfall on a nightly basis.

Child Mentoring

"Dr. Adams . . . New Zealand is amazing! The weather has been beautiful. The at-risk youth center is great! The staff has been wonderful and really makes me feel welcome. I love working with the children. The work is fun but also challenging and engaging. Many of the children that come to stay at the center have emotional and behavioral problems. Most of the time the children are sweet and very loving, but everyone in a while they just have to let loose.

The other students that I'm living with are great. There are 3 from Germany and 1 from France. There is a little language barrier sometimes, but we all seem to get through it together. This whole experience has really opened my eyes to a new way of living and working. I have learned in the past month that I have more freedom then I thought when working with the children. I'm allowed to take between 2-4 children down to the beach that is 10 minute walk from the Home. The beach is filled with rocks where you can find little crabs and pretty seashells. I was very surprised when I learned I was allowed off sight with the children alone. I guess it is a way for the children to have more one on one time with the staff rather than having 20 people around all the time and everyone needing constant attention."

This internship offers a special opportunity to work alongside a small, committed, and passionate staff providing services to children in New Zealand. A non-profit organization, it focuses specifically on issues of change, loss, and grief. Its work helps children, young people, and their families to find ways to live with life's losses, to build on their natural resilience, and to move forward.

Like adults, children grieve--not only for losses such as death, separation, and divorce, but also for losses such as those associated with sickness, disability, learning difficulties, migration, family disruption, and accidents. Yet too often their grief is neither acknowledged nor recognized; consequently, children regularly grieve alone and unsupported. This can have long-term effects on their achievement, self-esteem, relationships, and behavior. Left unsupported, they may well become 'at risk' statistics.

A relatively small investment of time, expertise, and resources can make a huge difference on the impact of loss on young people and their families. Support not only children and those around them, but also professionals (teachers, counselors, health professionals, government agencies, police, and victim support organizations) in a variety of ways:

  • Education and training
  • Information and resource provision
  • Counseling and support services
  • Advocacy to enhance understanding of, and services for, grieving families.

Customized projects for an intern interested in social impact issues. With this internship you will be provided the opportunity to contribute to the social fabric of New Zealand. This internship is suited for a mature intern who possesses enthusiasm and a strong commitment to advocacy services.