Dear Future Interns, First off, congratulations. You are in for an experience of a life time! Living in a brand-new country while working with MSRI won’t be like anything you’ve ever experienced before. It will be scary, exciting, challenging, fun,… Continue Reading →
Blog 6: Don’t be so hard on yourself, kid.. but continue to reach for the stars. In thinking about what sort of message I could give to the next wave of QES interns about to embark on their journey to… Continue Reading →
Was India much different than you had previously imagined? A colleague at PRIA asks me during our final good-bye dinner in New Delhi. A question so seemingly simple, but yet I struggled to find an answer. Yes, of course India… Continue Reading →
Over the holidays, I was asked countless times about how my “trip” to India was. I found this question hard to answer as my short, polite response did not feel adequate to encapsulate the complexities of my internship experience…. Continue Reading →
As my placement here at the Karenni Social Development Center comes to a close, I’ve taken some time to critically reflect upon the concepts of privilege and positionality. From the outset of this program, that being the CAPI internship program,… Continue Reading →
As I am closing in on my final few weeks in India my heart is filled with bittersweet sadness. On one hand I am looking forward to seeing my family and friends (and cats) back home, but on the other… Continue Reading →
As I have mentioned in each of my previous blog posts, one my goals during my internship is to examine the many ways that language, with all of its nuances and all of its layers, impacts the people who work at MSRI and the refugees who access essential services. My hope is that this information will help to shine some light on one of the most prominent invisible barriers that refugees and service providers face, both in facilitating integration into host countries, and during the re-settlement process.
I chose to do an interview with a young man named Hadi, because he is (a) a wonderfully special human being and (b) a student at the MSRI school and an unaccompanied minor (which means he represents two youth-focused programs operating at MSRI).
I thought Hadi was an excellent candidate for this podcast because when he arrived in Kuala Lumpur two years ago, he didn’t speak any English or any of Malaysia’s local languages. After one year at MSRI’s school, he is fluent in English, and can therefore provide some insight into how difficult it is to arrive in a country without knowing the language, how challenging it is to learn a new language, and how much language really matters in the refugee context.
At one point, as we spoke about his experiences getting around the city without any English, Hadi said, “it was so difficult… If you don’t know English, you are like… blind.” I think this really speaks to the hardships that refugees have to endure as a result of being thrust into a country with another language, where they cannot get around, cannot advocate for themselves, and cannot participate fully in society until they are able to acquire the appropriate language skills.
I loved every minute of this interview, and am so thankful that Hadi was able to participate.
Below is Part 1 of a convertstaion between Zahura Ahmed and myself. Within this podcast we introduce ourselves, and in Part 2 we explain who we are working with and what we hope to achieve from this time. Please view Zahuras blog for Part 2 of this conversation.
In this final section of my interview with Gloria Martinez, Gloria discusses the complexities of reporting a perpetrator, especially in an asylum and refugee context. She also explains how the course of action varies from one case to another and the possible drawbacks a legal case can have for refugees.
I feel very fortunate to be learning about a topic that is not only important in the work I am currently doing but also for any future engagements in my personal and professional life. I have been learning to go past my good intentions, of how I think my actions may benefit someone, and to explore the actual effect they have on individuals. The environment and experiences children are exposed to, shape them and it is thus critical to pay attention to the long-term impact of our actions rather than short-term benefits.
In this second section, Gloria Martinez talks about the UN convention on the rights of the child, which articulates the rights of children and recognizes their agency and evolving capacities. She explains what it means when countries, such as Malaysia, entered reservations on articles of the convention when they ratified it. This podcast ends with a discussion on the child protection policy introduced at MSRI and the training that has begun to take place.