Nora Bremer's Internship Experience at FNF
Who are you? (Where are you from and what interested you in an internship at FNF MENA?)
My name is Nora Bremer, I am 22 years old and from Berlin. I stayed 3.5 month in the Regional Office in Amman. At home I study geography. Through my studies I came in touch with political foundations and also wrote a seminar paper related to this topic. This caught my interest in political foundations. However, to finish my bachelor an internship is required by the university. In my future career, I would like to work in development aid, so for me working with FNF was a good opportunity to get an insight look how the everyday working life of NGOs is. Amusingly, my mom lives in Amman and works at FNF, so it was not my first time here. We just took the opportunity to spend some time together and I applied for an internship with the foundation. But mainly I came here to get some impressions about a NGO working in overseas.
What were the two most important, exciting and/or interesting things you worked on during your time at FNF MENA?
The most exciting and interesting things I experienced here, are the events I joined. I really enjoyed the project “Free Thought Theatre”. Here, Syrian refugees, now living in Jordan, come together with one of our project coordinators. It depends when the actual play takes place, but usually the trainings happen one to two times a month. Once or twice a year, their work and achievement is shown in an public play that everyone who is interested can attend. What made it a great experience for me, were the impressions and feeling of the participants when I talked to them. FNF is providing a free space for them to talk and express their feelings and opinions. Neither in Syria, nor in Jordan have they found any other safe place like these theater trainings. It means a lot to the participants that they are part of this training, this show and most importantly, of FNF. But not only the Theater trainings gave me this impression, in every gathering organized by FNF, the participants appreciate the discrete and safe environment the foundation provides. For me, this was great to see and to experience, that the work we do here is literally changing not only individual-, but also whole society group’s lives to the better.
The other thing was our big event on 3rd of November “Revenge of the Borders”. Not only the event itself, but the planning and the organization of it. It was a huge project were so many things needed to be taken into consideration. Prior, I did not know how many things have to be thought of to organize an event of 4 hours. But the whole office was part in the planning process, everyone had their tasks to do and in the end everything worked out very well. Just to experience the whole planning, organizing and how the team is working together was exciting!
What was different in Amman and/or the office from what you had expected, prior to joining the team?
Also related to the event planning, the longer I worked in the office, the more NGO work appeared not just to be spreading new ideas, but also event management. Of course, every ideal FNF stands for and is supposed to be implemented in foreign societies, needs to reach the target audience somehow in different ways. But I did not expect that it would be that much event planning.
About Amman - I already knew a lot about the city before I started my internship, since my mom lives here. Still I was and am overwhelmed by the amazing welcoming culture of this society. In the office, everyone treated me from the first day on, as I was part of the team since months. In addition, when I was going out with colleagues and they invited me to stay with their friends, it was just natural that I was welcome to join. And everyone is sharing everything. It is just different from what we might be used from home, but in a great way!
What advice would you give a future intern?
Take home as much experiences as you can! Try to attend some of the workshops happening on the weekends. On the other weekends, visit Jordan. Go for a hike in a Wadi, visit Petra or ride a camel in the desert. There is a lot to do and to see in Jordan!
What does freedom mean to you?
The first picture coming to my mind are wide, huge, free and desolated areas in the nature. But freedom is more than just free areas. It’s a thought, a goal in our minds. It is my highest ideal and I feel honored by it, because not everyone has the privilege to experience as much freedom as I do. It means I can travel the world. It means I am able to express my thoughts and my feelings –in public if I want to. As a woman, I can educate myself and become whatever I want to. Freedom is to do and say whatever you want, as long as you do not hurt others.