Lello Konno Guluma, BA International Studies; BA Environment; Sustainability Scholars Program ‘17
Organization for Development in Action (ODA)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
During the months of May to August 2016, I interned in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with the Organization for Development in Action (ODA). This organization is an integrated development organization dedicated to improving lives of the poor through facilitating the implementation of initiatives and programs run by the community. Some of my primary duties included attending to assignments given by the Director of ODA related to funding, consulting in the future direction of the organization, as well as creating reports and graphics used in their work in Addis Ababa in conjunction with their funding sources. I was also able to visit one of the towns in which ODA directly works, Fiche in North Shewa, Oromia Region, Ethiopia. During this visit, I was able to see some exchange between an expert in the ecology and biology of the region advising the local program manager on reaching a greater potato output for local farmers in the area.
Without the Rose Silverman Internship Fellowship, I would not have had the means to travel to Ethiopia, and I wouldn’t have had the flexibility to travel within the country at large related to the internship. I am incredibly grateful to have been awarded the fellowship and am incredibly thankful to Ms. Amy Rose Silverman for her contributions to the Program in International and Comparative Studies for making this fund available for students to learn and work all over the world.
Kathleen Guytingco, BA International Studies; BA Asian Studies; minor, Complex Systems ‘17
Kythe Foundation Child Life Program
When I received funding from the Amy Rose Silverman Internship Fellowship through the PICS Summer Research and Internship grant, I was ecstatic to experience the Philippines on my own. Before I entered my summer fellowship, apart from my academic knowledge of the Philippines, I really didn't know much at all about the local issues and events until I got to experience the Philippines this summer. Kaya Collaborative is a unique program, as it is an internship, a fellowship, and an immersion trip all in one. Targeted at Filipino North Americans, they bring youth of the Filipino Diaspora back to the Philippines to learn about the changes happening in the social sector by immersing them in internships with various organizations three times a week. The fellowship curriculum takes place twice a week in the form of workshops and seminars. These discussions frame things back into the perspective of what compelled the fellows to come back here in the first place and offer context to their personal experiences in their respective internships. Topics included Filipino politics, environmental justice, efforts to protect indigenous tribes, human-centered design, and traffic infrastructure and efforts to remedy traffic congestion in the country. Other discussions on more personal matters offered a space that we rarely get to explore in the U.S., including discussions about Filipino and Filipino-American identity, colonial mentality, tracing our migration stories within the Filipino diaspora, and learning what it means to be a Filipino- American in the Philippines, which significantly influenced how we framed our experiences.
My specific internship placement was with the Kythe Foundation, a child life program that offers psychosocial support for children with chronic illnesses. Kythe hosts activities that include both free play and structured activities, offering a place for the kids to go while waiting at the hospitals for their procedures or to do something while they're bedridden to help them feel more at ease as they go through their treatments. They also help parents navigate the health system through a manual and a small workshop program for parents educating themselves on the hospital systems; how to get insurance and meds, and other related medical issues. In addition, I also aided the founder of the organization, Girlie Lorenzo, in the strides she is making in mental health. She and other directors of patient advocacy groups are attempting to vouch for more rights and coverage of their patients through policy reforms and conversation with health institutions in the Philippines.
In addition to the volunteering I accomplished at the hospitals, I also did research on various mental health and health systems in Cuba, Thailand, and the U.K. Later, I contributed the findings of this research at a meeting these patient advocacy directors had with an attorney. In this meeting, they discussed how they want to write a bill institutionalizing mental health in the hospital systems. They hope to eventually pass this bill as the first legislation on mental health to help direct the changes made for President Duterte’s health administration.
I had to go back to understand how to move forward. This summer was about learning about the history beyond my past, familiarizing myself with the environment and the current issues facing the Philippines, and discovering how much incredible potential and opportunity the future has in store for the Philippines, its widespread diaspora all over the world, and my own personal journey. Never have I felt so capable and empowered by such a group of people; I thank Ms. Amy Rose Silverman, the Program in International and Comparative Studies, other donors to my personal fundraising campaign, and Kaya Collaborative for supporting me to have an experience so incomprehensibly enlightening and enriching.
Jacob Lockledge, BA International Studies; minor, General Philosophy; minor, Community Action and Social Change ‘17
Refugee Law Project
This summer I worked with the Refugee Law Project (RLP) in Mbarara, Uganda. I saw my position with RLP’s Access to Justice Programme divided into two roles: intern and research associate. As an intern I accomplished basic office duties like taking client testimonies and the analysis of research reports. As a research associate I identified an issue worthy of study, compiled a research proposal, applied for approval with various bodies, and then conducted a brief study. My study focused on the ability of refugees within the nearby Nakivale settlement to both access and use various forms of technology. The most valuable lesson I took from this trip was the importance of fundamental human rights. Some people might forget that issues as basic as education and the right to personal physical security are rights granted to every human being regardless of race, gender, or migrant status.
Thanks to the generous funding donated by Ms. Amy Rose Silverman in the form of a PICS Summer Internship Grant, I have garnered an enormous respect for the promotion of basic human freedoms as well as the ability to facilitate the implementation of an education program that would help secure these freedoms for nearly 100,000 refugees in southwest Uganda. As a participant said to me after her interview, “Thank you for filling our minds, not our stomachs.” Development comes in many forms, thank you for helping me come to see many of them.