Working with a Purpose – How Gandhi’s legacy inspires us

27 September 2016

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to love forever.”

These are some among many other quotes by the world famous activist, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known as ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi.

gandhi_suitWho is he?

Born on 2nd October, 1869 in Gujarat (the north west part of India), Gandhi later became the pre-eminent leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India. Gandhi’s father was the Chief Minister of Porbandar and his mother was a religious woman, who infused the Jain pacifist teachings of mutual tolerance, non-injury to living beings and vegetarianism to the family.

By the virtue of being born into a privileged caste, Gandhi received extensive education and went on to study at University College London at the age of 18.

What made him popular?

In London, Gandhi pursued the philosophical study of religions, including Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism and others. After clearing the English Bar and finding it challenging to work in India, in 1893 he accepted a year’s contract to work for an Indian firm in Natal, South Africa. His first encounter with South Africa and the then prevailing ‘apartheid’ system troubled him greatly.

Gandhi spent the next 21 years living in South Africa and railing against the injustice of racial segregation. He was also once thrown out of a moving train carriage, despite having a purchased ticket. The racial bias towards his countrymen encouraged him to become an activist and fight against segregation. He then founded a political movement, the Natal Indian Congress, which stood for non-violent civil protest. He began to gain fame with this method of protesting.

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His motto of working with a purpose

Upon his return to India in 1916, Gandhi began his struggle, as a political and spiritual leader, to free India from the British rule.

He adopted non-violent techniques and promoted peaceful social disobedience throughout India and South Africa. In 1922, he started the Salt (Dandi) March, during which he and his followers walked over 230 miles to the sea to collect their own salt to oppose the heavy taxes being levied on salt by the British government in India.

His ‘work with a purpose’ motto also led him to invent the spinning wheel, known as the ‘chakra’ which allowed people to make their own clothes, rather than depending on the British.

He often felt that India would not be free until it learned to make things necessary for living. In 1947, Gandhi’s struggled efforts finally paid off and India gained its independence from the British rule.

Gandhi Jayani Celebrations

Each year, India celebrates Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, which falls on 2nd of October, in order to pay tribute to his life. The day is declared as one of the three national holidays in the country and all schools and offices go on leave, and some even conduct plays and ceremonies in Gandhi’s honor.

Popularly known as the ‘Father of the nation’ or ‘Bapu,’ Gandhi gave India and the world the principles of truth, non-violence and honesty, which are still remembered and widely used today. On the day of his birthday, the President and Prime Minister of India, along with other eminent figures pay their homage to the Gandhi memorial, situated at Raj Ghat in the capital of New Delhi.

We, at if i could… admire and believe in Gandhi’s words of wisdom, particularly this: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Through our growing partnerships in South Africa and India with grassroots organisations in need of skilled, young professionals, we offer opportunities to serve in developing nations and create impactful change.

Get started finding your purpose and apply today!

Celebrate the festival of lights and save $100 ✨

27 September 2016

This month is Diwali, the most celebrated Hindu festival of the year, and India is set to come alive with a multitude of lights, candles and fireworks, depicting the victory of light over darkness, as families come together to celebrate, eat sweet meats and ring in the New Year with fireworks. 🎊

We love celebrating the uniqueness of New Delhi (and Cape Town too), and so decided to find another reason to show you how good they are:

  • if you confirm your internship abroad with if i could… before Diwali on October 30th, you’ll get $100 off the programme fee.

There are many places to celebrate Diwali all over India and on an if i could… internship in New Delhi, you can experience this special festival and more first hand.

To take advantage of this offer, apply today and quote “Diwali” in the comment box at the bottom of the form!

Diwali Special Offer

Top Travel Apps for Interns

26 September 2016

All great travel apps have one thing in common: they all solve a problem you didn’t even realise you had! That said, being simply useful is no longer enough for app developers aspiring to greatness. Whether they’re cutting down journey times, pointing you in the direction of authentic cuisine or reminding you to apply sunscreen, these free travel apps will show you a new way to look at the world. So read on and plan your trip abroad!

Preparing for your trip

1. Skyscanner: While flight-booking apps are fairly plentiful on other mobile platforms, Windows Phone marketplace boasts a meagre handful. Thankfully, this clean-looking solution does everything you’d ever need it to, aggregating fares from airlines and the big travel sites to bag you the best deal. For those really keeping an eye on the purse-strings, there’s also the option to pin your search to your start screen and keep an eye on price fluctuations. Neat. Available on iPhone (free), iPad (free), Android (free) and Windows Phone (free)

2. PackingPro (okay it’s not free, but it’s great!): Anyone who says there’s no exact science to packing has obviously never tried to cram a pair of Jimmy Choo stilettos into the same suitcase as a giant inflatable beach ball. Thank the lord, then, for this. Tell it where you’re going, how long for and who with and it’ll spit out a suggested list of what you might need, split up into essentials (passport, currency), clothes, gadgets and more, with separate lists for additional family members. Available on iPhone (£1.99)

3. Entrain: There are plenty of theories floating about concerning the best methods for beating jetlag, very few of which come backed up with any serious scientific clout. Still, it’s generally agreed that gradually altering your sleeping habits before a trip is beneficial, and this clever app will help you do just that. Input your travel dates, destination and usual sleeping times and it’ll come back with personalised alarm clocks to soften the blow when you wake up on Tuesday afternoon convinced it’s still Monday morning.
 Available on iPhone (free)

4. TripAdvisor: Stripping away the glossy magnificence ladled on by just about every online travel agency out there, this is the place to find brutally honest reviews of hotels, restaurants, attractions and more. The user-base is notoriously hard to please, so be warned that you’ll most likely find exclamation mark strewn rants next to your favourite spots. Still, on the flip side, touch down in a strange city with nowhere to stay and you’ll only ever be a few prods away from the warts-and-all opinions of travellers just like you. Available on iPhone (free), iPad (free), Android (free) and Windows Phone (free)

Illustration09Arrival in a New Land!

5. WordLens: Now this is real sci-fi stuff – an app that instantly translates foreign text via your phone’s camera. Though the download itself costs nothing and comes bundled with a couple of demo settings, you’ll need to shell out £6.99 (via in-app purchase) for one of the language packs, with English and French currently on offer. A tad pricey, but worth it purely for the expressions of awe you’ll draw from bystanders. Available on iPhone (free) and iPad (free)

6. XE Currency: Don’t bother paying up for one of the many currency conversion apps out there in the digital hinterland – this freebie is slick, easy to use, and – best of all, since it uses live currency rates – completely accurate. It’s been downloaded more than five million times to date, so don’t even think about hopping on a plane without it. Available on iPhone (free), iPad (free), Android (free) and Windows Phone (free)

7. HopStop: Public transport information covering 68 (and counting) of the world’s biggest, busiest metropolitan hubs. So whether you need to pick your way across downtown Denver or catch a bus out of Norfolk, you should never be more than a few taps away from a neatly displayed, stop-by-stop itinerary. Available on iPhone (free), iPad (free), Android (free) and Windows Phone (free)

8. Foodspotting: While apps that aggregate crowd-sourced restaurant reviews may be ten-a-penny, those that focus in on specific dishes are a far rarer species. Luckily, this one works a treat, responding to your every gastronomic whim with user-generated recommendations from your local area. In downtown Madrid with a penchant for paella? Prod around a bit and within seconds you’ll be en route to the best in the city. Available on iPhone (free), Android (free) and Windows Phone (free)

9. Sunscreen: Until the bashful lobster look finds its way into the style zeitgeist, this is a crucial piece of kit for those venturing to sunny climes. Having detected the UVI rating of your current location, this nifty little app sets a countdown timer to alert you when you’re due your next slathering of sunblock. All you have to do is input your skin type and the SPF of your lotion, then kick back and soak up some worry-free rays. Available on iPhone (free)

contact-usKeeping in Touch with Home

10. Perfect World Clock: Does pretty much what it says on the tin, this one, providing easy access to the time in hundreds of cities and therefore averting arithmetic-induced stress your jetlagged brain could really do without. Nothing revolutionary, but still an essential download, especially considering the rather nifty option of adding several clocks as home-screen widgets. Available on Android (free)

11. Wi-Fi Finder: With data roaming charges still laughably high, knowing where to find a decent wi-fi hotspot is essential if you’re to keep the twitterati up to date with details of your latest sojourn. No need to charge through the city waving your handset around like a fly-swatter, though – simply fire up this handy app and follow directions to your nearest source of wireless internet. Best of all, the offline mode means you can download maps before you go, thereby dodging a massive bill. Available on iPhone (free), iPad (free) and Android (free)

12. WhatsApp Messenger: A cross-platform messaging system that’s slowly but surely rendering the text message obsolete. Data (that’s pictures, videos, sound clips and GPS tags as well as text) are sent using either wi-fi or your phone’s web package, so even if you’re sending a message to someone on the other side of the globe, there’s nothing to pay. Absolutely essential for keeping in touch with overseas chums, and, providing you can find some wi-fi, great for sending off-the-cuff holiday snaps back home.
 Available on iPhone (£0.69), Android (free) and Windows Phone (free)

Thanks to Time Out for these tips!

SunglassesAnd now for something totally cool, Cape Town specific apps from CapeTownMagazine!

13. A Walking Tour of Central Cape Town: Brainchild of South African tech company Tourism Radio and Cape Town Tourism, this mobile travel guide is the ultimate companion for a tour of central Cape Town.  Using GPS technology, the app will detect your location and alert you to popular nearby Mother City attractions.  From museums and restaurants to accommodation and shopping malls, the application has over 40 points of interest. The app helps you navigate the city thanks to a detailed map, with all points of interest clearly marked.  Not to mention, there is a category filter, which allows you select the attractions that pique your interest. And the cherry on the cake?  A Walking Tour of Central Cape Town is also preloaded with audio clips describing the must-visit spots. Basically, you can curate you own self-guided tour. Available on iPhone and Android (free)

14. Cape Town Maps and Walks: With a detailed, fully functional map of the city and numerous self-guided tour options, this app puts adventure in the palm of your hand. Tours for the Cape Town version of the app- there are over 450 cities that you can download- include “Landmarks of Cape Town”, “Museums of Cape Town” and “Cape Town’s Garden District”.  What’s more, the app works offline, which means that you don’t need an internet connection or data plan to use it- pretty cool, if you ask us.  The app is available as a Lite version, which you can download for free and includes walk details, descriptions and photos, but it does not come with the navigational tools, which guide you from one site to the next. For that you will have to download the Full version. Available on iPhone and Android (free Lite version, $4.99 full version)

15. Cape Town Creative: This free-to-download app not only sets out to connect creatives with potential clients, but it also allows users to access details of relevant creative sector operators. Known to be the first ever mobile events gateway for the local creative industry, the Creative Cape Town app boasts an event feed with map integration as well info on all the hip and happening creative and cultural activities taking place in the Mother City. Furthermore, registered app users will be able to showcase their work by uploading it to their very own mini-portfolio. So if you are looking to make the most of the Cape Town artistic scene, this app is for you! Available on iPhone (free)

16. Cape Town Love:
As the name of the app suggests, this download is all about sharing your adoration for our bustling seaside metropolis.  Developed by design studio Wild Measure in collaboration with the tech experts at Over, Cape Town Love allows you to add handcrafted, city-inspired and city-specific phrases to your photographs of Cape Town. Whether it is a snap of the penguins at Boulders Beach, a sunset captured at Camps Bay or a spectacular view from atop Table Mountain, this app lets you take your special moments to a whole new level.  But, of course, it is also all about sharing the love.  When you’re done composing your personalised work of art, you can distribute it directly from the app to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more. Available on iPhone (free)

17. Zomato Food and Restaurant Finder – Cape Town: Released in 2013, this app provides an easy-to-use restaurant discovery service that hinges on social sharing.  Not only is it perfect for budding and fully fledged Mother City foodies, but also for international visitors who are on the lookout for top dining spots in Cape Town.  The super user-friendly app allows you to browse through updated menus and images of some of the top eateries in your area. Furthermore, you can curate a trusted network of friends and discover new restaurants through them.  And, if you want to become a Level 5 foodie, you can document your food journey with reviews and images (you can add filters) and maintain an up-to-date list of all your favourite heavenly hotspots. Available on iPhone, Android and Windows (free)

18. Cape Town Bicycle Map: There’s no denying that bicycle culture in Cape Town is growing exponentially, and the Cape Town Bicycle Map is a perfect companion for your two wheel rides.  Officially recognised as 2014 World Design Project, the app allows cyclists to find safe urban cycling routes, bicycle-friendly venues, bike rentals, bicycle parking racks and much more. Not to mention, bike enthusiasts can also find info on what is required from them should they want to take their bicycles on public transport.  Additional maps detail mountain biking trails as well as leisure routes for local and tourists who want to (re)discover the beauty of the Mother City. Available on iPhone, Android and Windows (free)

19. Geek Girl Dinner Cape Town: Launched in early 2011, Geek Girl Dinnersets out to bring together the tech-obsessed women of Cape Town with a series of ‘geeky’ events (they include men as well).  The monthly affairs, which take place in and around Cape Town, feature a tech-related theme, guest speaker and a delicious dinner.  The app features pre and post event information and includes photos, speaker’s presentations and biographies and news relating to the technology industry. Available on iPhone and Android (free)

Finding spring’s world famous wild flowers in Cape Town

19 September 2016

An estimate 100 000 tourists visit Namaqualand, an inimitable natural area that crosses the Western and Northern Capes, every year to see the normally dry and desert-like countryside burst into colourful bloom So at a soft guess, that would mean there are at least 10 flowers for every tourist who goes to see them because the springtime wildflowers in Namaqualand are many in number, and truly amazing.

Where to go?

The West Coast National Park is just 1.5 hour’s drive from Cape Town city centre, and boasts a popular and colourful flower season annually between August and September. Depending on the amount of rainfall in the preceding winter months, here, Namaqualand daisies and more 3 500 floral species emerge in spring – from early August to the end of September – to offer one of the world’s greatest flower shows.

If you’ve got the time, drive even further up along the west coast to Namaqualand in the Northern Cape, where the flowers really start showing off.

One of the if i could… team members went in search of the beautiful blooms last weekend, and here are a few of the vibrant scenes she found:

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The West Coast spring flowers are justifiably world famous. In a good year this botanical masterpiece puts on a show that is unrivaled anywhere on Earth. If you experience this natural wonder you will remember it for the rest of your life.

You can hire a car if you want to do it yourself, or hop on a tour bus and get to the west coast flowers and back home to Cape Town in a day trip easily. So make sure you apply for an internship in Cape Town today to get here in time to see the flowers still blooming!

Getting inspired by Cape Town’s artistic culture

12 September 2016

Whether you are looking for a creative internship or just hoping to take in the culture of Cape Town, the city has something in store for everyone.

The city’s status as World Design Capital 2014 and the continual growth of inspiring initiatives like the Cape Town Art Fair and Art Week Cape Town has put the city on the map as one of the inspiring art centres of the world.

Some may even say that the city itself is a piece of artwork with its abundance of natural beauty!

Art is powerful universal language that allows us to break through cultural and communication barriers, and open our hearts and minds to the hopes and challenges that connect us all. It’s a way to listen to one another, and understand how to make the world better, together. With the if i could… Internship programme, you will not only get to grow your skills and abilities but you will also effect change and impact the communities here too.

Our current intern Camille de Vos from Australia has particularly been inspired by the Mother City. “There is definitely some great art capturing the majesty of the African wildlife and the energy of its people here in Cape Town. To me art is often a medium that is used as a platform for social commentary and to initiate social change and that can definitely be seen in the art from South Africa, particularly in relation to apartheid.”

While in Cape Town, Camille did the painting below. She tried to capture the strength and beauty of so many of the women you see around here.

“Women’s Day celebrates what many strong women have done for South Africa and was the inspiration behind the painting.”

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When you’re feeling arty or want to know more about what Cape Town has on offer, here are some events and vibrant venues to check out:

ART & CULTURAL EVENTS IN CAPE TOWN

Artscape

Situated in the heart of the mother city, the Artscape Theatre Centre brings you the highest level of artistic excellence in all aspects of performing arts. For more info: www.artscape.co.za

The Watershed, V & A Waterfront

Visit the Watershed at the V & A Waterfront beautifully crafted, and produced African art. The Watershed, your one-stop where you will find the best of local design and craft!

Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts

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Magnificent gardens provide the backdrop for these open-air gigs – the perfect place to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon. It’s also a fantastic picnic location, so bring along a blanket and a hamper of goodies! Find event updates here.

ftFirst Thursdays Cape Town

A free cultural experience where art galleries and other cultural attractions in the central and east city districts stay open late on the first Thursday of every month. This is a very popular social event.

“It is a great place for people with similar interests to come together and appreciate unique forms of art work that is shown.’ I visited many trendy bars, coffee shops and galleries. Overall very cool and must Cape Town experience” says intern, Jennifer Morris. Find out more at  www.first-thursdays.co.za.

Cape Town Street Murals

These are a vital part of the city art scene. The lively suburb of Woodstock is one of the oldest but hippest areas to visit when in Cape Town. Join an art tour with Anima Tours.

And don’t forget the galleries —

Art Galleries in Cape Town

The South African National Gallery at the heart of the Company’s Gardens is a fitting place to begin exploring Cape Town’s art galleries. It has over 1000 works in its collection and hosts a dynamic programme of high-quality exhibitions.

The Cape Gallery contains works that invoke Africa’s cultural identity, from classic landscape paintings to sculptures and modern street art.

To start exploring and get inspired today, apply for an NGO internship in Cape Town here.

Contact us for more information