Inspiring Social Change through Film

Ariane Irafasha’23 managed social media while interning remotely with Sunshine Cinema in summer 2020.

Ariane’s background information

I am Ariane Irafasha. I am a sophomore at Beloit College from Rwanda. I have already declared a major in Quantitative Economics and plan to declare another major in the spring semester. Last summer I did not go back to my home country, but instead stayed on campus for the whole break. I would like to thank the Office International Education, especially Betsy, who suggested I do a summer internship through Roots, a non-profit organization based in South Africa.

Brief information about the organization

Sunshine Cinema's logo Sunshine Cinema's logo
Credit: Sunshine Cinema
Through Roots, I was offered an interesting internship opportunity in Africa with Sunshine Cinema. Basically, Sunshine Cinema shows feature films and documentaries in order to raise people’s awareness of how to tackle social issues. They operate in four countries in southern Africa, including including South Africa. To give an example of their approach, a documentary on gender-based violence showed what people can do when they need help to escape from violence.

What were your responsibilities?

Ariane was in Rwanda and enjoyed time with her family Ariane was in Rwanda and enjoyed time with her family
Credit: Ariane's family
I analyzed their social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Soundcloud. To do this, I collected and collect and counted the number of likes, comments, shares, or views their social media posts received. Besides this, I reported on the findings to the whole team. I earned .5 unit of credit at Beloit for the internship, for which I wrote a report and reflected on what I had learned in the internship.

What did you learn?

Ariane was spending time with her friends at Aldrich Building. Ariane was spending time with her friends at Aldrich Building.
Credit: Ariane's friend
I personally think that I learned a lot from this internship. First of all, the work was located in Africa, where I am from, which made it is easier to understand the situation there. Second, I had some knowledge about the problems that they were working on. The internship helped me to understand more about how they address all those problems in each country. Also interning remotely, I learned to deal with different time zone differences, listen to podcasts instead of attending meetings, and ask for help from my supervisor.

What is your advice for students looking for an internship?

I would recommend the Roots organization to anyone looking to learn something new. Although I was not paid, it was a great experience for me and helped me expand my network.

Moon Sum’24
January 28, 2021


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