Partner Blog

Reflections from the 2023 Global South Talent Pool (GSTP) cohort 

Through the Resilience Evidence Coalition, the Global South Talent Pool (GSTP) internship programme aims to foster opportunities for young people from the Global South to contribute to resilience-building initiatives.

Written by: Sharleen Nyakundi, Nirvana Chavon Milton, Rubina Adhikari, Benefique Magadju
GRP Areas of work: Knowledge

The Global South Talent Pool (GSTP) is an internship initiative by the Resilience Evidence Coalition, fostering opportunities for young people from the Global South to contribute to resilience-building initiatives. Recognising the crucial need for young voices in resilience building at all scales, the program creates a space for interns and young experts to play key roles in various GRP initiatives and programs. 

The 2023 GSTP cohort brought together a diverse pool of talents from the Global South, each contributing a unique perspective to the program. Hailing from different corners of the world, they enriched the Global South Talent Landscape with a wealth of experiences and expertise.

Three GSTP interns and one GSTP young expert share insights into their experiences, outlining the nature of their work and reflecting on their professional development and personal discoveries.

Sharleen Nyakundi, Kenya

GSTP intern Sharleen (second from the left) with RAIN Challenge shortlisted candidates at the RAIN Challenge Leadership Academy in Nairobi, Kenya.

June Kimaiyo

I worked closely with the operations department, playing a key role in supporting important climate change initiatives like the RAIN Challenge and the COP28 Resilience Hub. These experiences opened my eyes to how organisations and communities come together to address climate challenges.

I learned that collaboration is crucial in making a difference. It’s not just about individual efforts but about working together toward a common goal. Beyond the day-to-day tasks, this internship offered me valuable learning opportunities. I attended workshops and events that deepened my understanding of climate change and its impact. From discussions on innovation to insights into policy, I explored various aspects of climate action.

Looking back, I see how each experience has shaped my journey. It’s shown me the power of teamwork and the importance of continuous learning in addressing climate challenges. As I move forward, I’m inspired to keep working towards a more sustainable future, knowing that every small step counts.

Nirvana Chavon Milton, South Africa 

GSTP intern Nirvana Chavon Milton (sixth from the right, second row) at a Southern African Resilience Academy (SARA) workshop in South Africa.

In my role, I contributed to projects such as Seeds of Resilience for Peace and Stability. My primary responsibility involved facilitating communication between researchers and practitioners on resilience projects occurring within various communities globally. This experience created an opportunity for me to build a global network, and through that network, practice establishing and maintaining professional connections on an international scale. Through this project, I engaged in collaborative problem-solving, improved my communication skills, and strengthened my project coordination abilities.

Over these six months, I acquired valuable insights into effective time management. The flexibility in task completion allowed me to structure my schedule independently, resulting in more efficient and timely task submissions. This process taught me valuable lessons in prioritising tasks, setting realistic deadlines, and delivering results within specified timeframes. I particularly valued the acknowledgement of my opinions and problem-solving skills, which were incorporated into collaborative work within my team, with the support of my team leads when needed.

An enriching aspect of my experience was attending a workshop as part of the Southern African Resilience Academy, hosted by the GRP. This workshop not only provided a valuable networking opportunity with researchers and practitioners from all sections of the world but also showcased the potential for individuals from various backgrounds to unite and collaborate on shared objectives.

Rubina Adhikari, Nepal 

GSTP intern Rubina Adhikari (centre) with climate activists and experts at the COP28 Resilience Hub.

Holly Hayes, The Resilience Hub

In my role, my primary focus was on various aspects of Catalytic Grant coordination. Additionally, I managed the coordination of Adaptation Fund Climate Innovation Accelerator (AFCIA) grantees, contributing through blog writing to highlight their impactful work. I also played a role in developing policy recommendations for a fund addressing loss and damage. During COP 28, I had the opportunity to attend COP in person to assist GRP and the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) by writing notes and supporting various activities, enhancing my hands-on experience. 

The GSTP experience was instrumental in improving my professionalism, efficiency, and organisational skills. Witnessing the outstanding efforts of GRP and ICCCAD in the field of adaptation during this journey bolstered my confidence. This inspiration fueled my pursuit of further academic and professional growth. Through this experience, I gained valuable insights into the transformative impact of small grants and their role in bringing about meaningful change.

Benefique Magadju

GSTP young expert, Benefique Magadju (third from the left), with members of the GRP and COP Resilience Hub team at the COP28 Resilience Hub in Dubai.

As the Young Expert for the COP28 Resilience Hub, a significant part of my role focused on supporting the artistic and engagement elements of the event. This experience provided me with a deep understanding of the complexities involved in planning, collaborating with various stakeholders, and managing and implementing major projects, such as the Resilience Hub.

As we conclude this chapter, we carry with us not only newfound skills and knowledge but also a sense of camaraderie. From supporting team leads to navigating the complexities of sustainability, our journey has been an array of learning and growth. Through challenges, successes, and the wisdom gained from professionals, our internship has made a lasting impact on our professional trajectories. We are now prepared to embrace the next chapter, expressing gratitude for the time spent within our diverse intern cohort.