HEARD has bid farewell to intern, Helene Karlsen, who returns to Norway after spending four months at the organisation.
Karlsen is currently completing her Masters in Global Development Theory and Practice at the Department of Health Promotion and Development at the University of Bergen.
She initially came to the University of KwaZulu-Natal- where HEARD is based- to participate in a course titled; Political economy of the welfare state with a focus on poverty and sustainable development on a scholarship through Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP). After completing the one month course at the School of Built Environment and Development Studies at UKZN’s Howard College, Karlsen applied to join HEARD, despite having initially wanted to intern in Asia.
“Since I specialise in health promotion with development, HEARD’s research areas and profile were a perfect fit… My Professor at University of Bergen, Wenche Dageid, linked me up with (HEARD Research Director) Dr Kay Govender.. Working at HEARD has provided me with more confidence in my own ability to survive in the real world once I am done with my studies” she said.
Karlsen said she gained invaluable practical experience working on various HEARD research projects.Together with Health Systems Strengthening Programme Leader, Dr Gavin George, she conducted and transcribed interviews. She also learnt how to apply her training in qualitative analysis in practice, by working with HEARD Programme Leader for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Dr Tamaryn Crankshaw, in coding and categorising data on a Menstrual Health Management study. “I learned more about qualitative research. (HEARD Research Fellow) Mike Strauss…helped me on developing a Master’s topic, getting data from HEARD and assisted me in writing my thesis proposal. I am forever grateful to him. It has been a very positive experience for me. I especially found the working environment and all the colleagues at HEARD to be magnificent, “said Karlsen.
Karlsen is due to graduate in June next year (2019) and thanks to her experience, will be looking for work in South Africa.