Step Story: Ronja Kropp


Public Health Student, University of Bremen, Germany 

Kisumu, August-November 2018

I came to Kenya for a four-month internship with FACES. I had no expectations about what my stay in Kenya would be like. But I was excited and ready for meeting new people, learning more about the African culture and working in an organization that focuses on HIV.

The first day I went to the office where I was welcomed by the STEP coordinator. We had a meeting with my supervisor from UCSF and Irene, who I should work with during my time. We talked about projects I could participate in.

From time to time ideas developed, so that I was working mainly on three different projects. What I loved about the work was that the projects offered me wide insight into what the organization is doing. While in the office and working on different studies I could use what I learned in university. On other days I went for site visits to the adolescent centers. These practical experiences contributed to the varied work. I loved spending time with the adolescents and seeing how to convey more about HIV prevention in a playful way.

In the offices and facilities, I was always welcomed. The good atmosphere allowed me to going to work every day with anticipation. Colleagues became friends and introduced me to the Kenyan culture. I got the feeling that I was respected and valued. The tasks people gave to me were of great importance. I am thankful that I had been given a lot of responsibility after a short while.

Through my internship with FACES I developed more ideas for my future. The time proved to me that I had chosen the course of study that fits me well. I also developed ideas about topics for my bachelor’s thesis and master studies. Above all I am already planning my return to Kenya.