Nari Uddug Kendra, which translates to the “Center for Women’s Initiatives” is a 17-year-old non-governmental organization mandated to promote gender equality, human rights and personal empowerment of women and girls in Bangladesh. NUK understands that gender-sensitive development work demands increased attention to women’s extreme vulnerability to poverty, lack of decision-making power, susceptibility to violence and insecurity, and sustained marginalization at all levels of the development process. To that end, NUK’s comprehensive development intervention concentrates on ensuring genuine integration of women and men into social leadership, access and control over family and public resources, and the development of policy formulation and administration.
NUK is headquartered in Dhaka with regional offices throughout the country, and its programs operate in all of Bangladesh ‘s 64 local districts. Rapidly expanding in size and scope, NUK’s full-time staff of 314 and annual operating budget of approximately $5 million render it a mid-sized NGO by Bangladeshi standards. This provides an exciting opportunity for interns seeking genuine, hands-on responsibility in formulating and enacting development policy with a reputable and effective NGO.
NUK’s program activities reflect a comprehensive approach to the empowerment of women in Bangladesh. Gender and human rights advocacy for women’s political participation, decision-making bodies both national and local level. Support garment factories and workers rights and campaign for social compliance and remediation, research and advocacy. Legal intervention in early marriage and dowry violence, comprehensive rural health care, primary school gender equity curricula, and micro credit are just a few of programs in which to become involved. Motivated interns can expect to gain exposure to a wide array of development activities and to have a direct impact on the lives of NUK’s constituents.
Bangladesh is an exciting country for students interested in development initiatives. Its brief 37 years as an independent nation have witnessed a massive influx of foreign aid, home both of desperation and innovation. The birthplace of microcredit, Bangladesh is home to the largest NGO development sector in the world because its approaches arc novel and effective. Observant researchers and interns are privileged to have an array of organizations, agendas, budgets, and levels of success to learn from, as well as a hand in alleviating the effects of grinding poverty, corruption and gender inequity.
The objectives of NUK internships are threefold:
1. To increase the interest in and effectiveness of development work in Bangladesh through facilitating the participation of talented individuals;
2. To assist these individuals in gaining experience and expertise in the development sector;
3. To enhance NUK’s programs through research, policy development and outreach conducted by interns.
Internship candidates should meet the following criteria:
1. Demonstrated commitment to NUK’s core mission and values;
2. Demonstrated ability to adjust and work independently in foreign environments;
3. Fluency in written English and proficiency in spoken English OR Bengali.
While the following are not required, ideal NUK interns also:
1. Have taken at least one semester or an equivalent of Bengali language instruction;
2. Have excellent communication skills, particularly the ability to exchange information across language and cultural barriers;
3. Have career goals involving international development, education and/or human rights and;
4. Have experience working or living abroad.
Interns can choose any of NUK’s Core Programs on which to concentrate. Program content and duration is flexible and can be negotiated with NUK’s Training Manager, although a period of at least three months is strongly recommended to allow for adequate adjustment time.
Accommodation for individual research can also be negotiated providing its objective does not conflict with NUK’s values and mission. Interns can expect access to relevant documents, field offices, trainings and the NUK library as per their research interest and program. NUK has assisted previous interns with establishing course credit and dissertation or thesis research requirements. Office space and computer with internet access will be provided for interns at the Dhaka headquarters. Field research will require the intern’s own laptop and/or recording devices, although not NUK intern will be expected to have such equipment or expend any personal money on official NUK business.
NUK will provide information and documentation necessary for basic living, i.e. food, transportation, health coverage, and visa acquisition. Dhaka is very inexpensive and villages even less, and interns can expect to live well on $90 per month. Roundtrip airfare from anywhere in the world should not exceed 1,500 USD and can be as low as a quarter of this price. English is spoken at the office, but Bengali is obviously enormously helpful.
Interested applicants should submit a letter of intent and curriculum vitae. Interns with research goals of their own should submit a brief summary (no more than a page typed) for approved assistance. Email and Fax subject lines should indicate an internship application submission. Send to:
Nari Uddug Kendra (NUK)
Address: 2/21 Babor Road, Block-B, Mohammadpur, Dhaka-1207
Phone: 880-2-9115696, 880-2-8125804, 880-2-9139943.