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Program Questions

Why is the program 9 months?

The duration of the program is one of the defining elements of our methodology and central to our success. An apprenticeship of four months during the immersion phase allows for a much more profound experience than conventional internships part of degree programs. No matter whether you will do an apprenticeship or work on your own venture – during this time you will acquire an in depth understanding of the possibilities, challenges and complexities of what it takes to do work that changes the world. This will help you develop and anchor new habits and skills central to long term success. It will also ensure that you can build a global network and better understand your personal and professional journey as a changemaker. During the immersion phase and later in your work during the acceleration phase you will acquire CV-worthy professional work experience in the social change sector.

Our program differs also in how we will facilitate your entire learning experience during your internship in order for you to get the most out of it. The length of the program is also important in that it allows for the mastery of several different skill sets, not just one or two.

Finally, we believe that a sustained experience is critical for personal growth as it builds your stamina for international development work. There will inevitably be moments of ups and downs, which we and your personal mentor will help you to get through, and getting through those times will enable you to be a stronger and fitter professional.


Where will I do my apprenticeship?

Our partner organizations range from large to small-scale social enterprises and community NGOs, to for-profit impact investing and consulting firms. We will help you find the perfect host-organization according to your interests, needs and specific skills you would like to build on. You will obtain more information on the placement process during your application process.

Can I extend my apprenticeship?

You can extend your apprenticeship for one month, assuming that the organization you are working with agrees with that. After that, it is up to you and them to negotiate directly.

Why is the program in Kenya?

The program is based in Nairobi, a major hub not just in East Africa but also across the continent. Hundreds of major non-profit organizations, UN programs and social businesses are headquartered in the city, addressing the entire range of social problems from poverty alleviation to human rights to climate change.

Nairobi is a highly cosmopolitan city with a vibrant culture, a never-ending choice of social activities, and beautiful surrounding countryside. It has a strong academic tradition, with many major Kenyan universities located there.

Above all, Nairobi exudes an air of progress and possibility, and is rapidly becoming a major center for entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainable development. Throughout the program, students will be able to interact with a wide array of actors and learn about the history, society, and state of development in Kenya.

Why is the program in Brazil?

São Paulo is not only one of the biggest cities in the world but it has also become a reference in the social impact sector as a result of the inequalities it still confronts. São Paulo has to solve the problems of education, health, environment, and employment for a fast growing population of almost 20 million.

One sector that has been traditionally important in Brazil to tackle such issues is the NGO sector. The number of NGOs has doubled between 1996 and 2005. Half of the staff of those institutions work in São Paulo making the city the biggest employer of people working in the social impact sector. Furthermore, during the last 5 years, multiple social businesses, accelerators, incubators, university programs and opportunities have emerged, leading to a unique social innovation ecosystem and hub in Latin America and in the world.

During the program, participants will also attend events, conferences, and workshops and interact with experts from across the social innovation field. Also, if you like night life and nature São Paulo has more than 152 theaters, 55 cinemas, 90 museums and 54 parks and green areas.

How do I know this program is for me?

If you have a desire to follow your passion in changing the world and are eager to build your professional and personal skills for doing so, this program is right for you. Our application requirements are specified here.

Traditional higher education programs as well as short professional trainings provide us with useful knowledge but cannot yet provide the training necessary to be a successful change agent in the fast-changing world we live in. Please check out the About and Values section of our website to learn more and see if you resonate with our values and approach, and feel free to contact us to learn more.

Who will be my classmates?

Our methodology and approach, and therefore our selection process, is designed for diversity – we help professionals from the private sector cross over to the social change sector, support professionals in the social sector become better in what they do and provide post-graduate training for recent graduates looking to build a career in the social change sector. Since inception of the SIM program in 2013, we have had 440 Fellows from 60 different countries on 5 continents, ages ranging from 21 -55, all representing different places on the socio-economic, religious and professional spectra.

What is the value of the Amani Institute Certificate?

Through our partnerships with Universities, the Amani Institute Certificate in Social Innovation Management counts 25% towards an MBA in Social Innovation Management at Lynn University (see below for more details) and 80% towards a Diploma in Social Innovation at the Center for Executive Education of the United Nations Mandated University for Peace.

Beyond that, the Amani Certificate in Social Innovation Management receives its value by approval and endorsement by our existing network of organization partners willing to look closely at hiring Amani Institute graduates.

In March 2017 we received the Ashoka U – Cordes Innovation Award for innovative changemaker education. This is a testimony to our growing reputation and brand in the field of international development and social change globally. You can read more about how we are received in the international press here.

Will I be transferred to a job after completing the program?

The Amani Institute provides a platform that exceeds the typical internship process and enables you to establish relationships and networks within the field. We cannot guarantee a job placement after the completion of the program but we can be certain that you will have a competitive advantage over your peers as you will have completed a training program endorsed by several leading employers and you will possess highly-valued, 21st-century professional skills.

This certainty is reflected in the fact that so many world-class organizations have already committed to viewing the resumes of Amani Institute graduates.

How is the Amani Institute methodology based on adult learning principles?

Learning by the book provides information that too often doesn´t result in true knowledge or skill building. As the old Confucian expression goes, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Adults learn best through experiential learning – at the edge of their comfort zone, facilitated and monitored by coaching/mentoring both by professional mentors as well as peer coaching. In our program you will also learn from guest speakers and instructors who are accomplished professionals from the field and through real-world case studies and projects.

What type of weekly commitment or intensity can I expect from the program?

You can expect to fully immerse yourself in an exciting and challenging learning process. We believe it is necessary to train intensely for your career as a change maker, the way a doctor or athlete or someone in the military trains – a mix of sustained immersion, the development of specific capacities, and deep personal awareness and growth.

During the Foundation phase of the program the expected time dedication is of approx. 15-20 hours a week in a flexible format. During the immersion phase (4 months in Nairobi or São Paulo) the expected time is 40-50 hours a week. Finally, during the Action phase (4 months) we expect you to dedicate to the program 5 hours a week.

I live in São Paulo and I want to keep my job. Is this possible?

The program in São Paulo has been designed considering that many people work full time. All the classes will happen after 7 pm and during the weekends. You will only miss 2-4 working days a month.


Is there a break in the program or time for travel?

The program will allow you to travel or to take some time off 3-4 days in some of the weeks. For longer trips we recommend you stay longer after the Immersion Phase to travel around the country.

Do I have to go on all field trips?

All two field trips, and shorter site visits, are embedded in the overall design and cost of the program and your attendance is expected.

Optional field trips will be clearly designated as such.

Do I have to know Kiswahili (Swahili) to be able to take part in the Program?

English is the only required language for the program. However, we encourage and offer the possibility for you to take Kiswahili classes, on your own time and cost. Kiswahili is spoken across all of East Africa and serves, next to English, as the “Lingua Franca” in the region. We will provide more information on Kiswahili classes on your arrival, or start learning today by yourself.

Do I have to know Portuguese to be able to take part in the Program?

English is the only required language for the program. However, we encourage and offer the possibility for you to take Portuguese classes, on your own time and cost. Portuguese is the official language in Brazil and most of the population does not speak English. We will provide more information on Portuguese classes on your arrival, or you can start learning today by yourself!

Are there any exams?

We don’t believe in grades but in action – there is no traditional final exam but a presentation of the innovation projects you have been working on with your host-organization during your apprenticeship. The final field trip also serves as a closing trip in which we evaluate how your personal and professional development has increased throughout the program and how you can move forward using the tools you have learned.

What will I be able to do when I have graduated?

You will have developed professional skills essential for long-term success and highly valued by employers around the world.

You will have gained a greater understanding of how social innovation actually happens on the ground, what challenges and opportunities exist in the field, and how they relate to your interests.

You will have built a global network of new friends and professional contacts from all around the world.

Perhaps most importantly, you will have a clearer vision and understanding of who you are and what you can do to follow your passion and dreams of creating social change.

Furthermore you will profit from our alumni network and resources.

You can continue your education at Lynn University to receive an MBA in Social Innovation Management or at CEE UPEACE to obtain a Diploma in Social Innovation.

The rest is up to you. We look forward to cheering you on!

Logistics Questions

Logistics Questions Brazil

Logistics Questions Kenya

Logistics Questions India

Financial Questions

MBA in Social Innovation Management with Lynn University

Additional Questions?

Please contact our Community Director Geraldine Hepp at [email protected]