My name is Jeremiah and I am from Zimbabwe. I was a remote volunteer at SIHMA from August to early November 2020 during the COVID-19 virus pandemic lockdown that commenced on the 26th of March 2020 in South Africa. At the end of my internship I volunteered partly remotely and party at the office joining colleagues who also returned to the office. I worked from home because of movement restrictions that were put in place to curb the spreading of the pandemic. I was eager to be part of a team that were working on global issues affecting people’s lives, especially in the Global South.
I started to volunteer at SIHMA after completing my Bachelor of Science Honours in Geography and Environmental Studies. During my undergraduate studies, I did some modules on population and migration within and across political boundaries. Issues to do with push and pull factors that are responsible for people’s movements on a global scale has contributed my choice to join SIHMA in order to gain more light. During my volunteering at SIHMA, I helped prepare news on migration issues which used to be posted on SIHMA Facebook and Twitter website. In connection to that, I would attend online meetings where presenters from different fraternities would report their findings, give their opinions and debate on issues that are affecting the majority of people as a result of man-made and natural disasters.
Furthermore, I was taught on how to search information and prepare country information profiles for African countries. This task led me to gather extensive information including that involved human trafficking which is silently transpiring and affecting some individuals within and beyond the region of the African continent. Most importantly, I also learnt that there is a need of new and/or additional guidelines which should be instituted protect against child-labour. In the context of South Africa, I have noted that the Scalabrini Institute for Human Mobility in Africa is assisting non-citizens with enough support that helps them to enjoy a decent life.
In conclusion, I really appreciate the opportunity that I was given to work at SIHMA. It gave me valuable experience and knowledge on issues which include but are not limited to migration of people on the African Continent. I would advise others to have a volunteer experience at SIHMA.