My name is Orestis Collins, I am 24 years old and have recently graduated with an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science. I completed my internship for InterCap at the NGO Support Centre in Cyprus in September 2020.
The InterCap internship was an exceptional opportunity for me to employ my past experiences in Cypriot Civil Society to good use whilst simultaneously engaging in the program’s training package. InterCap’s educational aspect was very appealing given my interest in Sustainable Development Goals and the recent significant increase in migration and asylum seekers’ flows to Cyprus. I was surprised by the close connection and relationship between the SDGs and Migration, which contains fundamentally important steps forward which could offer significantly positive side-effects for our planet and communities. Additionally, the relevant information on the migration, asylum seekers’ and refugee flows to Cyprus and the EU provided an eye-opening experience to an often misunderstood and confusing modern-day reality.
Through InterCap I thankfully had the opportunity to work closely with the NGO Support Centre in Cyprus. The Centre plays a crucial role in assisting newly created NGOs to comply with national legislation, advocating and engaging in policymaking discussions with local and national government on behalf of Cyprus’ Civil Society, and bringing NGOs closer to national and international funding opportunities. I was especially involved in the final aspect of the Centre’s work, through assisting in an EEA Grants Stakeholders Consultation between Greek- and Turkish-Cypriots NGOs, which recorded the various obstacles the organizations face and discussed possible solutions which could be provided through better targeting of the EEA Grants’ future funding opportunities. A separate yet equally engaging aspect of my work at the NGO Support Centre was assisting in the preparation of activities relating to the Bridge47 project. Engaging with educational workshops regarding Global Learning and the significance of promoting and working towards implanting the various Sustainable Development Goals was an eye-opening experience which has encouraged me to investigate further into the educational value of Global Learning.
I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the InterCap internship program because of my belief that many of its values and lessons can offer real change in the world. Completing the training package has equipped me with various tools and information to better inform my friends and family on the benefits of migration and their connection to Sustainable Development goals. Finally, working at the NGO Support Centre has been a fulfilling experience, enabling me to better understand the workings and needs of Cypriot Civil Society and the importance of its contribution to Cyprus at large.