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INTERNS IN CONVERSATION WITH THE BRITISH AMBASSADOR

21. March 2012.

Yesterday, H.E. Michael Davenport, the British Ambassador to Serbia, hosted, at his residence, ten male and female interns, who have been staying in Belgrade for five months as part of the” Internship Program for the Young”, who are members of ethnic minorities doing their internship at the Serbian governmental institutions. Apart from the interns and their female mentors, the meeting with the Ambassador was also attended by Nenad Djurdjevic, Director of the Directorate for Human and Minority Rights, and Danijela Nenadic, Director of the Coordination Body’s Office.

The British embassy in Serbia has been supporting the Internship Program for two years. The said program makes it possible for the young from ethic minorities to acquire extremely important knowledge and experiences while working at the governmental institutions, as well as the very important skills necessary for communicating and doing numerous jobs. Unlike the first year, the second year of the program included the young from three ethnic communities (Albanian, Bosniak and Roma) accomplishing their internship at the following four institutions of the Republic of Serbia: the Coordination Body of the Government of the Republic of Serbia for the Municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, the Directorate for Human and Minority Rights, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education and Science.

Ambassador Davenport was interested in all the experience and impressions of these young people, who had the opportunity to acquire the precious knowledge while staying away from their environments for six months. They not only acquired the knowledge and skills while working together with their female mentors, but also lived in Belgrade, socialized and communicated with other people, as well as got accustomed to the environment that was completely unfamiliar to them.
     
The interns’ experiences are very positive for they were all received very well at the institutions where they are doing their internship and they were accepted as if they were part of the team.  They were enabled to take part in various activities undertaken by the institutions where they were improving their knowledge and skills and to acquire the knowledge necessary for upgrading their own experiences by being directly involved in those activities and by assuming responsibility for their undertaking. In the past period, a series of training courses, which made it possible for them to muster the skills necessary for working at the governmental institutions, were organized for them. Life in Belgrade is full of novelties and challenges, which makes their internship experience even more rewarding.

The female mentors underscored the importance of the program, which has an impact not only on the interns and improvement of their knowledge, but also on the institutions themselves, since the interns are engaged in a great number of activities and they also make it possible for us to have an insight into the influence of those activities on the communities from which they come.
     
The interns had a great many questions for Ambassador Davenport, and while they talked to him, they learned about his career, about how he had learned Serbian and about the British embassy’s priorities regarding investments in the Republic of Serbia. All of them said that they wished the program to continue, so that other young people would be able to acquire the precious experience, which they had been able to gain through the program.
The Internship Program is the project implemented by the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, Public Administration and Local self-Government and the Directorate for Human and Minority Rights, while it is implemented in partnership with the OSCE Mission to Serbia.

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