Barely done with my internship and here are some tips I will like to share with my fellow colleagues, who might find it interesting to have their internship with AIDS FOUNDATION.

  1. Time in a sense flies quickly  and all of a sudden you just have few weeks to apply and if you get turned down, there is  a whole lots of frustrations that can set in. So one must start looking out for internship opportunities as soon as possible.
  2.  I felt lucky that I got such a nice internship place through networking and searching online for some other opportunities. 
  3. Set a Regular Meeting Time with My Supervisor.This will keep you informed about what is going on at your internship place and at least you get to voice out some concerns you  come across in this  corporate environments.  
  4. Stay curious, humble and and willing to learn. Always ask questions but add some sense of professionalism to it. At least to provide a little perspective on the internship work.
  5. Be Kind, nice and polite to the other fellow workers, this will get you far in your networking. 
  6. Be yourself, relax, have fun and know how to interacts with people at your internship place. This will help them to know you well and help when the needs arises.
  7. Take advices and be ready to use it when it given and know it valuable.
  8. When ending your internship, let them know you appreciate their time and just being with them has be an awesome experience and you will wish to keep some other kind of contacts with. 

What makes Salzgitter special?

Salzgitter is spread into 31 different sections and it’s 223.94 km² big which makes it one of the largest cities of Germany when it comes to area.
The city is very diverse having many families with a non-German ethnic background.
This is why a lot of information is translated, e.g. into Turkish. There are many programmes to increase the living standard and quality in Salzgitter for migrants. It is obvious that Germany is very social when it comes to foreigners. Asylum seekers for instance get the first 3 days free accomodation in Salzgitter but this can be different in another city!



This is the acutally intervention that I am currently doing. It includes an extended fruit scheme and some midnight fitness. 3 weeks (12 working days). 

Fruit scheme:
increase fruit availability by placing fruit in the working area - Nudging for behavior change.

The problem:                        Workers (especially night shift workers) often buy sweets and cakes during working hours in the canteen. The canteen is the only place to buy fruit

The solution:                        Give workers a (free) alternative to sweets and cake: fruit and nuts!
To increase likelihood of intended behavior, the free fruit and nuts are placed in the work area near their working stations.

                                            Bon appetite! 

Midnight fitness
Workers from 2 of the 4 working sectors attend fitness break (15 min.) to decrease physical pains from strenuous work, increase employee satisfaction and decrease likelihood of work-related injury through increase concentration.

The problem:                      Many sick leaves and work-related injuries. Generally unsatisfied employees  (night shift) due to the feeling of seclusion.

The solution:                      Provide a 15 minutes fitness break for employees in two of the working sectors. Making exercise equipment available to the other two working sectors. 

Half way point and a new beginning!

This week has been used to pick the last prices in a village near to Bucharest and to evaluate the Healthy Food Basket.

We now have all the data from the 4 regions as we were supposed to. Some of the days we have been sitting at the WHO office doing our own stuff - organised the travel travel expenses, researched about Romania and have now made a small report about the country and our observations from the prices collection. 

They have been quite busy in the WHO office and they do not have that much time for us. The office is also very small as it only consist of one person and his secretary. We therefore more feel like we are in the way. 

Next week we are planning to start helping in in the Institute of Health - Mothers and Childcare. They are very happy that we would help. We are going to do the pre testing of around 10 families for a National Child Measurement Program in Romania. I will post more about this when we get started next week.  

Another wonderful week- second week of my internship

In the week nr 2 of my internship, we had the pleasure to be at home, in Bucharest, just Monday.

So for the Monday we planned to get some new data in Bucharest from Piata Obor (market) and Kaufland (a hypermarket). Which went quite well because we were already knew the procedure, asking the permission for collecting prices. The rest of the day was reserved for putting the data in and writing to our blogs. But also some more research was done about the area that we had to visit next day.

On Tuesday was my birthday!!!! Yey :D We went in the morning at the bus and leaved for Sibiu, a city in the central Romania. Mira brought a huge bag of sweets for me so I can really feel that is my birthday. The trip was around 5 hours. So with the remained timed we found a nice hostel in the centre and we went for more data collection!!!! To a normal Romanian market! When we finished was already everything closing.

Picture 1: Market Cibin in Sibiu in the evening

picture 2: Sibiu in the evening

The next day, we woke up really early in my opinion (6-6.30) and at 7.30 we were already with our breakfast in the train on the way to Sibiel, a village around 25 km away from Sibiu. To get there you also have to walk like 2-3 km. I was really happy that the weather got better and we could walk to the village. I should mention that the village was suggest it by our hostel host, so we had the surprize to realize that the village is really touristic. But they had just 1 small shop.

The next village was like 2-3 away as well and we just walked there as the weather supported us. The name of the village was Vale, as it was situated at the bottom of the hill. There was as well just 1 very small shop that we observed and with a limited variety of products.

Our last stop for that day was at the small city Sacele, which did not have any of the national supermarkets and hypermarkets, but just local ones. We choose a bigger one as some variety of products will exist.

The next day, unfortunately, was an unlucky one. It was heavy raining, which meant that at the local shop, which we planned to visit, will be very few sellers/farmers, as no one is going to these markets in the rainy days. They prefer warm and dry places as bigger supermarkets. Later my fears were seemed to be true. They were 4 or 5 persons in a big market and 1 person for the milk products. The shops around the market were very limited as products and number. The Billa supermarket did not allow us to collect the prices in the city. This supermarket is not the cheapest but is the most easy to access as it is in the center.

After that we decide to go back to Bucharest as the weather seemed pretty bad and there were not any other places where we desired to collect data. As I understood many of the citizens of this small city choose to make the shopping in hypermarkets as Auchan, Lidl and Kaufland, as they can find all the desired products in one place, while in the traditional markets, you will have to go from shop to shop/ producer to producer to get all the desired aliments.

The last day, of the week we reserved for blogging, putting the data into the excel sheet, research and a bit of relaxing.

The next week we will be in Moldova, the north east part of the country! Do not miss Mira’s and mine adventures!


When I started my internship I was informed that ,mostly we have HIV POSITIVE people that are  more or less involve in the various activities that take place at the AIDS FOUNDATION on some special occassion.

With that in mind, I was thinking it will be awesome when it comes to getting some HIV POSITIVE people for my research in achieving my one of my objectives , which is finding the social determinate of them being HIV Positive.

So far only one person, who is a danish said yes to be on board of my research. But in all it has been so hard for me to get others to join.

I feel like even though I literally  know some people are HIV positive and they will be a good candidate for the program/Interview it something I can’t really go forward to ask. I have use the counsellors at the department to help me out organised some people to join but it has not been easy.

From my enquiries,am not getting participants for my interview due to the fact that am not HIV positive, being black person make them insecure making them stigmatised themselves. I can’t help but just respect their privacy which is their optimum priority.


From what I have learnt so far, I think it could have been a good idea to have establish some kind of contact and friendship with some of the  HIV positive people,even long before the internship. This could have helped me a little to gain some  CONFIDENTIAL TRUST, FRIENDSHIP ETC.

I have also observed making decisions about disclosure of HIV status is not an easy thing to do since it can inject/cause to fear rejection and violence from family, friends, and partners.

I guess confidentiality concerning and respect was major concerns I used to get my first participants. This can be strengthened for future success.


Pollutant measurement

I have been together with two hygiene engineers at an empty school to measure pollutants. Another school considers to use the building again and it is therefore important to check its condition to find out what has to be done before using it again. 

Clean air is important for our health and we spend approx. 80% per day indoors.

The health engineers focus on the following:

  • Smells
  • Damages
  • Material of the walls, ceiling and floors 
  • Air pressure, temperature and humidity
4th week, half way done through my Internship!

This week was really fun!

We learned about 3 things this week, 1. Dairy 2. Origins or Dairy and 3. what are vitamins.

On the pictures below you can see one example of the subject we learned about. We had a day learning about the benefits of dairy, tasted the different dairy such as, milk, cheese, yogurt, we had an additional of calcium fortified soy milk for the children who were allergic to milk. Additionally, we learned about why it is imporant to consume calcium and we also watched cartoon videos of how to make cheese. 

It was so fun when we did the tasting tests, the children loved to experiment with the taste and smell. All of the children hated the smell of soy milk and therefore none of them wanted to try it! 
Most of them prefered the full cream milk rather than the skimmed one, but with cheese it was the opposite! They liked the low fat cheese more, they said that the low fat cheese was more “salty” so they liked the taste a lot better. With the yogurt, all the children liked the flavored one better than the non sugar skimmed yogurt, but some one them liked both as well. 

The teachers who are in charge of the children also particiated in the tatsing test and they found it interesting that there were different taste to the cheese. 

One of the students, Ken was telling his sister to drink more milk! I was really glad that he was sending the message! 

Internship place


My name is Gabriela and I am student in the second year at University College Metropolitan. I chose my specialization of “Public Health and Food Policy” after one year of education. Till now I am very happy of my decision.

One of the university requirements is to complete 2 internship periods. Currently I am completing my first internship period of 8 weeks in Romania. During this internship I will accompanied by my colleague, Mira Lundsgaard.

We found this amazing opportunity through our dear professor, Aileen Robertson, which had some connection with the WHO head of Romania Office Dr Victor Olsavszky. So now, we are placed at the UN House in Bucharest, under the caring sight of our supervisor Victor Olsavszky.

For this internship, we were asked by our professor Alexandr Parlesak  to take part in the project “Healthy Food Basket”. Also our country supervisor agreed with this project and on 3.02.2014 we started our work.

As specified our host for the period of internship is WHO Romania which is part of the big family of UN agencies. This specific one is dealing with public health concerns, researches. Its current priorities include communicable diseases, in particular,HIV/AIDS,malaria and tuberculosis; the mitigation of the effects of non-communicable diseases; sexual and reproductive health, development, and aging; nutrition, food security and healthy eating; occupational health; substance abuse; and drive the development of reporting, publications, and networking. In Romania, the office is dealing with the inequalities of the health system, unawareness of the citizens on non-communicable disease and the prevention of communicable disease.

Follow my next posts for more details about our work in Romania!


Was more than happy, when I  got the chance to visit my first interviewee for my research finding about the Social Determinate  OF His HIV.

The interview went on fine,we had tea in-between and later he offered me some fantastic Danish Lunch, mainly with mashed fish and bread.

I must say I was DEEPLY TRUCKED with some moments of SILENCE during the interview.  I was TOUCHED.

He went on to quote this after answering a question about what his OWN FAMILY DID AND THEIR REJECTION AFTER KNOWING ABOUT HIS HIV STATUS

”In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends”.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Below are some pictures from his cosy apartment and the Lunch we had together after our interview.

Tasks and Tips for Future Interns:

Future tasks for future interns:
Writing a new health report
- My main task was to develop a health report. My supervisor from the child and youth department really wants me to stay. There can be written a lot about the health status of pre-school children and every year might be different.

Supporting the staff with IT problems
- All of them know what they are doing but when it comes to Excel, details in Word etc. some of them need a bit support. You should be very patient and I think my own patience developed a lot.

Tips for future interns:
I had such a great experience and I was told that the way I acted and behaved was one key factor why everybody was friendly.
„Wie man in den Wald hineinruft, so schallt es heraus“
„What goes around comes back around“
I think I had a personal conversation with nearly every colleague. They did not only talk about work but also about their private life. To be open-minded, listen and smile are in my opinion three important things to keep in mind during the internship period and also for your future work life.
Within this public health department I was told from the beginning that I should always ask questions if I have some. This is what I did. I think it is very important as it reflects that you are interested in what and how your colleagues are doing their jobs.
I also have been very flexible when it came to extra tasks. One day I got all of the sudden three different tasks from three different agencies. You should try to pay attention and work concentrated in order to fulfill the tasks successfully and within the given time frame.


Internship week 6 

On the 6th week of my internship we did something different this time! 
We learned about how to make healthy snacks! 

Peanut butter and chocolate balls! (Recipe will be posted on a different post) 

We also had dancing class which was so much fun! 

This week was all about hand on experience. The children got to make the healthy snack on their own with some help if needed. They used their hands and all of the children were participating in it. We also danced for physical activity, because it is important to be fun when dealing with children. Especially when you want them to be engaged in an activity. Some of the students were shy to dance but after everyone started to join the fun! 

I also participated in a project run by GNH about food availability. I interviewed a few locals and asked what food would they normally buy for their family and what foods they consume on a weekly basis. 

Third week at my internship place

Dear blogger readers!

The week number 3 of my internship had finished and I am here to tell you all about it!

Mihaela Nanu desired very much to hear some feedback from us after the first week, but because we wanted instead to collect data, we postponed the meeting for the Monday on 17th of February.

The meeting took place in the middle of the day because she starts the day late, at 11 o’clock. We went there at 12 o’clock, at the “Institute of mother and child heath”. She was really excited to see us and to hear how are first 2 week had been.  We discuss most of the issues that we observed and could do nothing about them

Some of the issues are:

-          Some supermarkets, like Billa and Lidl, but also some small ones, did not allowed us to collect the price, even though we had a document signed by WHO and MoH which specifies our project issue.

-          Some of packed products did not have vital information. E.g. the mixed pork and beef grounded meet did not had the percentage of fat either the country/place of origins.

-          In the markets (farmer-markets) on most of the products did not mention the country of production.  Even though we assume and ,for few products , we are sure that is not produced   in Romania.

-          In the country side shops, where very few products are available (50 out of 180), we couldn’t see the country of provenience wither the fat content because the products are nicely organized behind a register and unavailable to us to see the labels (just the price and the quantity)

-          They are also some frozen products (especially the meat ) which are sold by kilo but which did not have a package

After the meeting, we desired to go to Real hypermarket (a German chain hypermarket) which was considered to have low prices for products. Unfortunately, when we got there we realized that the Real was actually an Auchan now (a France hypermarket chain). A nice lady explained us that all the Real outlets where bought by the Auchan international retail group and one by one each Real in the country will became an Auchan.

Next day, we decide to go at 3 small villages close by Bucharest, which I knew them because my grandfather, from my mother side, is living on the route.  Some of the people were really happy about the project and suggest us more details for our report. But in the last small city, just a farmer shop and 2 meat shop allowed us to collect the prices. So we did not got all the prices for all the available products. That is why, this week, we have to do another small trip outside of Bucharest.

The next day, we planned to go to Husi, where my grandparents are living (in the east at the border with Republic of Moldovia). There is just 1 bus per day, at 16:00, from Bucharest. In the morning Mira announce me that she can’t come due to sickness. She is not used with weather changes and differences in atmospheric pressure. I arrived at 21:00 that night.

 Next day, 20.02.2014, I went with my grandmother to the market for collecting prices. It was nice to be in her company and she also helped me a lot. She knew the cheapest place to buy products, she helped me remembering prices, introduce me to shops where they did not required the document which was at Mira, in Bucharest. The rest of the day, I spend it in the warm company of my grandparents and my uncle.

What I hate the most is the early mornings, but we can’t always escape from them. Friday, I woke up at 6:00 in order to get a morning bus to Bacau, where I had to meet with Mira. The trip was one of the most awful ones. The road was full of 5-20 cm holes and I got a severe car sickness. I had to get soon better because Mira was waiting for me to collect the prices from 3 retailers. We walked a lot to find the earliest and best way to go the next day to Baile Tusnad, in the morning, and then to find the hostel. We left our luggage and we went to 2 markets and one non-stop supermarket.  The supermarket was chosen because of the 24 hours program and convenience of the placement (in a neighbourhood with many apartments). We went to sleep after we ate and meet some friends of Mira’s in Bacau.

Saturday, we woke up, again, early at 5:45 in order to get to the train station (there was one train per day which was going directly to Baile Tusnad). We got our breakfast in the train and also I got some sleep, as I was really tired.

For the night in Baile Tusnad , we were housed by some nice volunteers from EVS (European Voluntary Service). It was really nice to see again Baile Tusnad. It is a city between the mountains which mainly used for the recreation of big city population but also has the permanent citizens, which are mainly Hungarian. The data we collected was from this village and the next one, at 5 km apart. We walked there but when we come back we hitchhiking on the way. After, we went with the volunteers and the children in one of their activities.

 It was first time when I found myself in the situation where I couldn’t communicate with some persons, in this case where the children. In the area of center of Romania, there are many Hungarian citizens who are also thought in school in Hungarian and their second language is Romanian, but they do not try that much to learn it as they can survive there just with Hungarian.

For the Sunday, we arrange to leave for Bucharest as we had all the necessary data from that region. To get to Bucharest, we had to stop to Brasov and change the train. From Baile Tusnad to Brasov we got also with hitchhiking because the information about the trains was wrong on internet and we got to the train station at 10:30.

Because we had the chance to stop to Brasov as well, we stayed there for few hours in order to visit the city.

So today, Monday 24.02.2014, we are back to our host office (WHO Romania) and we put all the data in excel sheets and we also meet our host, Victor.

From now on we will have a more organized schedule and will be more time in Bucharest!


I managed to  qualified for this internship ,based on me having some knowledge on Interviews,Interpersonal skills , Nutrition, Learning theories and Intercultural competence.

The knowledge  on Nutrition came in full play when I was assigned to prepare some softs snacks for some various events, which I  think that I had sufficient knowledge on what is right or best to put on the table on those various events as far as nutrition is consent. 

However I felt that I needed more knowledge on the Interpersonal skills. One thing I came across was not ever to put so much emotions in people you meet personal. At least you can show it but not to let it affect you so much. I managed to talk to all difference kind of people during this internship. I heard horrible stories from some  Asylum seekers, ordinary people ,HIV infected, some specialists etc which I let it get the best of me.

Mine  internship was really relevant to the study programme in many ways. One was Runa´s teaching about Cultural competences and Interpersonal skills which I applied almost every time I was working.

My whole interview process was also done due to the help on some knowledge I had from our previous module. It made me to prepared, have the right material, know what to say and how to relate on different levels throughout the process. 

One more thing was all this internship place and some of the people I came across had some knowledge on Nutrition, diseases and some cultural competence. The interviewee I met had knowledge on nutrition, my internship host had the same thing etc.

An amazing thing I came across was the high professionalism that was shown at the Aids Foundation, through personal interacts, basic issues, and event planning.What inspired me  was to actually see  how they solved issues. I think they were really good at holding discussion, finding solutions and relating well.

One always come across the offices with warms smiles and hugs which shows they respect and value your presences.


Warning strike

The public sector demands more money and is therefore striking today and tomorrow.
They say that there is a growing gap between the salaries in the private sector and their sector.
Through the strike they aim to get attention and put pressure on the employers.
Within the public health department especially in the agency for children and youth health not many people are striking. The explanation was that they have a high responsibilty for the children which have to get examined. If they would strike some families which are in need of support may fall through the system. They don’t want to risk that because this could mean the loss of the opportunity to improve a child’s future. They see the importance of their work and this is the actual reason why they deserve more money.