Name: ZHANG Xinyi
Postgraduate Certificate in Chinese Studies
Chinese University of Hong Kong
Position: Communications Intern at United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Duration: 1st July 2017-30th November 2017 (5 months)
Sponsorship: United Nations Peace and Development Foundation
Supervisor: Gao Cuiling
I still remember how excited I was when receiving the internship offer form UNFPA China office. And now, at the end of my five-month internship in communication team in UNFPA China office, I would like to sum up what I did, what I learned and some precious moments in this experience.
1. Contributing to the development and implementation of social media campaign and daily weibo updating
Weibo is one of the most important social media in mainland
China and UNFPA official account is used to introduce UNFPA’s latest news and some knowledge to the public. My daily work was writing content for weibo, including three main parts: important international days, UNFPA China program conditions and some information from UNPFA HQ and other UN agencies. I translated a video about the State of World Population 2017 (view) getting more than 68 thousands views, wrote a story and editing a video (view) about UNFPA's 'Generation Breakthrough' project in Bangladesh which is about young people making great efforts to break through bias, prejudice and violence against women based on a press release from HQ, this weibo transmitted by UN official weibo account and got more than 500 thousand clicks. And in this year’s EVAW Day, I organized office staffs taking photos wearing something orange because orange color is bright and warm, symbolizing our spirit against gender-based violence. These photos are posted on weibo and is liked by UNWOMAN.
2. Supporting build website for UNFPA China
I assisted the building of the UNFPA China office website (the site will be out in 2018 soon) and this task continues for more than one month. After getting familiar with the website editor guidelines and finding how the website worked, I updated all news and publications into different categories, different topics and areas, editing the format of press releases and news, editing descriptions of the publications, editing news photos and adding other practical information. I also chose some high valued news and publications showing on homepage so that visitors could be able to access information in a clear and visible manner. After adjusting and editing these contents, there are still some framework pending issues only could be solved by UNFPA HQ IT team. Learning how to communicate with different teams is also a challenge.
3. Contributing to UNFPA’s humanitarian response to Jiangxi flooded area.
It was the first mission for business in my life! Since June 22nd, heavy rainfall hit the eastern part of the Yangtze River and Jiangxi is one of the province affected by floods and some health facilities were severely damaged. UNFPA China office decided to provide humanitarian response to this disaster by donating emergency kits for women and girls. As a communication assistant, I went to Nanchang and Xiushui in JIangxi with program officer, Guo Wei. Before going to Jiangxi, I was responsible to support to prepare press release and speech for this mission. In this mission, I participated in the donation ceremony in Nanchang city and a small mini-MISP training session in Xiushui city, taking photos for these activities and assisting to coordinate with local media partnerships. This event was uploaded to RCO’ weibo, APRO social media and reported in provincial and county media including newspapers and TV.
4. Contributing to the preparation of the UN Day 2017
UN Day is an important day of all UN agencies and aims to celebrate the ratification of the founding document of UN. This year’s theme of UN Day is “SDGs” and UNCT decided to use 17 booths showing 17 SDGs goals so that UNFPA participated in three of them, No.3 good health and well-being booth, No. 5 gender equality booth and No.10 reducing inequalities booth.
The most exciting part of the preparation was to coordinate and discuss how to make our booths attractive and let more people join in our games. After many quick meetings and lunch meetings with other interns and other colleagues, we decided that using quiz on gender and health booth and an interactive and informative game on reducing inequality booth.
And during the gender booth quiz, I found people have so limited knowledge about gender quality and gender-based violence. Taking an example, majority of visitors still think the most important objective to intervene in domestic violence is to maintain domestic harmony. It is a pity that gender-based violence is still a serious problem in mainland China and the gender equality index of China declined again to 99 in 2017. We still have a lot of work to do in advocating gender equality.
5. Assisting other projects, attending conferences and translating some materials
I attended a round-table meeting about women’s health through life course and empowerment holding on 4th August by UNFPA and also took part in editing for the draft of meeting report. I also attend many activities, such as “ no tobacco for next generation” speaks held by WHO, “World Contraceptive Day” activity organised by UNAIDS, and some meetings and salons organised by UNCG.
Making multiple products, such as brochures, poster, infographics and editing short video is also part of my work. I made a brochure for south-south cooperation, edited some videos, and participated in policy brief designing and framework.
Besides that, I translated some statements and press release from UNFPA HQ.
In the first section, I proposed goals to be accomplished within five-month internship. In this section of the report, I will sum up what I learned from this internship.
1. To give me an opportunity to do self-education and get much health information
Working in UNFPA gave me a chance to get more knowledge about sexual and reproductive health which is very useful for my future life. Maybe these knowledge will teach me how to keep health and how to be a better mother in the future. Before coming to UNFPA, I do not know there are so many contraceptive methods, including implantable contraceptives and IUD. I also do not know LARC (Long-acting reversible contraceptives) is fit for young people.
2. To have deep understand of the world
Through this internship, I got more knowledge about the world. I found gender inequality still common in the world and there are so many girls suffering from child-marriage and gender discrimination.
And inequality in the world is getting worse. Only about half of the world’s women hold paid jobs. Globally, women earn 77 per cent of what men get. Three in five women worldwide lack maternity leave, many pay “motherhood penalty”. Protecting reproductive health and rights, and tearing down social, institutional and other obstacles could tackle these equalities. I have never got this knowledge from books and courses before.
“Because everyone counts.” Is UNFPA’s slogan, through this intern, I have full understand of this sentence. Because in the world, every pregnancy should be wanted, every child birth should be safe and every young people should be fulfilled.
3. To better understand international organizations
My internship has offered an ideal platform for me to know more about not only UNFPA but also different UN agencies in China, having better understand of how national organizations working and cooperating with government, national institutions, media agencies and some NGOs.
4. To have so many new friends
I had a good relationship with staffs in the office, as well as friendships with other interns, I learned a lot from them and they gave me many suggestions for my future.
And meeting so many brilliant young people is my fortunate in this experience. We had a tour to the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, we also taught foreigner friends how to play majong and ate roast duck. We talk about our dream, our interest and share our stories.
I am sure we will meet sometimes somewhere in the world.
At the end of the internship
In a word, working as an intern in UNFPA China office is the most interesting and wonderful experience in 2017. I would like to give my gratitude to my supervisor, Gao Cuiling who supported and encouraged me a lot, and other colleagues, Soyoltuya Bayaraa, Sae-Ryo Kim, Peng Jiong, Guo Wei, Wen hua, Jia Guoping,Luo Weijia and my dear intern friends, Shen Yubing, Les Lam, Ryan Chan, Per Emil Svare and Li Xiaoboya for their help during my internship. I am also grateful for Josie and PDF staffs’ generous support for giving us this precious opportunity to work in UN agency.