Unpaid Kiwi UN intern lives in tent

  • 12/08/2015
Geneva is the home of the United Nations European headquarters
Geneva is the home of the United Nations European headquarters

By 3 News online staff

Every morning, New Zealander David Hyde puts on his suit to go to work as an unpaid intern at the United Nations in Geneva, but not before he packs up his tent and gas cooker.

The 22-year-old started his internship around two weeks ago, but found it was too expensive for him to live in the Swiss city for the six months he's there, the Tribune deGeneve reports.

Each day he discreetly stores his gas cooker, tent and a backpack of belongings under his desk.

The city was hit by a storm on Sunday which drenched the area facing the lake – where Mr Hyde, an international relations graduate, pitches his tent each night.

"I did not choose the more waterproof the tent of the store," he told the Tribune deGeneve.

He says his family don't know about what he has to do in order to work at the prestigious organisation.

"They encouraged me and when I received a positive answer, everyone was very proud at home."

Before he'd set up camp he did look into accommodation, but found it to be too expensive.

"Ultimately, it's only for those whose parents can afford a chance.

"I may have been naive in coming here, but this policy makes me angry. Now if I leave before the end, I will not have a certificate."

A UN spokesperson told the paper it has 162 interns, but each agency is autonomous in terms of training policies.

3 News