News World Unpaid UN intern who lived in tent calls it quits

Unpaid UN intern who lived in tent calls it quits

ABC/ Tribune de Genève/Patrick Gilliéron-Lopreno
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A university graduate who landed an impressive but unpaid internship with the United Nations in Geneva has resigned after it emerged he was living in a tent.

David Hyde, an international relations graduate, had pitched a tent by the side of Lake Geneva near the city’s botanical garden because he was struggling to afford accommodation.

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But his living conditions caused an outcry when he appeared on the front page of Swiss newspaper Tribune de Geneve on Tuesday.

The story, accompanied by an image of Mr Hyde standing in a suit next to a tent and his belongings, prompted an outpouring of accommodation offers and support.

But on Wednesday, the 22-year-old announced he would resign from the prestigious intern role just two weeks after he started.

“It’s my own decision and I chose to resign because I felt that it would be too difficult to continue to focus on my work as an intern at this stage,” Mr Hyde said.

However, he admitted lying in his UN interview when asked if he would be able to support himself.

Previous honest applications had been unsuccessful, he said.

“The UN was clear about their intern policy from the start: No wage or stipend, no transport help, no food allowance, no health assistance.

“I understood this, and in that regard, I have to take responsibility for taking the internship in the first place.”

His family in New Zealand only found out about his predicament when he sent them a copy of the story, reported.

His mother, Vickyi Hyde said her son was unlikely to accept help.

“We certainly will [try to help him] once we figure out what he’s up to,” Vicki Hyde said.

“Knowing him he’ll probably make a point of staying in the tent.”

– with agencies 

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