Name: SONG Shufan
Master of Philology
Position: Intern, Communication & Information Sector, UNESCO Beijing Cluster Office
Duration: June 2019 – December 2019 (6 months)
Sponsorship: United Nations Peace Development Foundation
Supervisor: Ms. Zeng Qingyi
I am grateful for having the opportunity to be an intern at UNESCO with the support of Peace and Development Foundation. UNESCO has always been an organization I yearned for, and working there is a dream come true. I worked for the information and communication sector, which strives to foster freedom of expression and build knowledge societies. Their work on advancing the safety of journalists, developing media and information literacy, and preserving documentary heritage inspired me in many ways.
In the first week of my internship, I was lucky to participate in the disability equality training workshops for media professionals. Aiming at strengthening the capacity of the editors or journalists to advocate for marginalized groups, the two-day workshop gave me insight into the rights and entitlements of persons with disabilities and the role of media practitioners in promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities. Over the next few months, under the guidance of my supervisor, I assisted in the preparation of several DET workshops, did research and sorted laws, policies, reports, videos and other materials to establish a disability resource hub for the disabled community. In our joint efforts, the celebration of International Day of people with disabilities was successfully held at the end of November.
Building the digital library for traditional games and sports is another important project during my internship. Under this program, data and audio-visual content of traditional games and unique sports from eight pilot countries were documented, and I designed promotional posters to be displayed at the Expo and a brochure for project exhibition and consultative meeting held at UNESCO headquarters. I really realized making it accessible to the public for research, learning, and innovative re-usages is the best way to safeguard this heritage.
As a member of the UN Communications Group, I was fortunate to be a volunteer at the UN day 2019: 40th Anniversary of the United Nations in China, which was an unforgettable experience. It was great to learn about the development of the United Nations in China over the past four decades, as well as the functions and collaborative relationships of various UN agencies. My duty was performance supporting, contacting and scheduling the performers and performance groups of the event with my partners. I forged deep friendships with other volunteers from different UN agencies and even became friends with the performers. Although couldn’t enjoy the performance and food like other guests as I worked backstage the whole night, I got so much pleasure and a sense of accomplishment to participate in organizing such an important event.
The office work was not always full of fun and imagination, but the improvement of ability and a shift in mindset happened quietly day by day. In the first few days, complex tasks meant overtime for me, but gradually I became able to arrange time properly to complete every task in the most efficient way. During the internship, every project I worked on enabled me to develop a deeper understanding of the mandate of UNESCO: building peace in the minds of men and women.
Finally, I would like to say a big thank you to the members of our CI team and every staff of UNESCO Beijing Office for their professional guidance and generous help in the past several months. Also, I must express my sincere gratitude to Peace and Development Foundation for supporting me on this amazing journey. Six months seemed like a long time, but when I look back, I find this experience quite precious and everyday life-long memorable.