What a time to be alive!

What a time to be alive!

Ok, for anyone who has purchased the newest Drake and Future album, you caught my reference, however I am going to reroute where you all may have been thinking. I just think it's so awesome that I'm in D.C. working at a refugee site during the unrests going on in Syria, East Africa, Congo, and so on. Man it's bittersweet. To back up, I'm working at the International Rescue Committee over in Silver Spring and I meet with people from all over the world who needed to flee their country for whatever reason, political unrest being the most common. I just don't think there's a better time to be interning there then now! Hearing the stories, empathizing with what they must have seen, constant gunshots they must have heard, loved ones they've lost, everything they must have felt during their journey to America. One thing I will say is that these people are so strong! My goodness, to be resilient to all they've gone through is incredible.

 

I work in the economic empowerment department in the IRC, basically helping them find jobs. Its humbling helping them find jobs, and they are so grateful! It makes me happy and reminds me that I'm doing my part in alleviating their burdens of leaving their home and having to start over. Many refugees come over leaving their professional careers to work for minimum wage at a grocery store or factory and I try my hardest to keep their hopes up and help them find a job in their fields.


"From Harm to Home"

 

The Mind of the African Strongman

The World Affairs Council held an author series titled "The Mind of the African Strongman" and the author, former U.S. Ambassador to 5 African nations Herman J. Cohen spoke to us about Africa's troubled past and hopes for a brighter future. He talked about country specific issues and how each dictator has played a role in keeping it's countries a few steps behind. Questions like "What could the U.S. have done in Rwanda, Libya, Ethiopian, CAR..?", "Does the U.S. need to keep out?" "What is the best thing the U.S. ha done to assist Africa?" opened up discussion on not repeating our mistakes. I was happy to hear that Peace Corps is the best thing the U.S. has done, as I am headed to serve in Nicaragua in March ;)

 

U.S. Ambassador to Chad and Sierra Leone

 

This was an amazing event for me, not only because I love all things Africa but also because there were so many ambassadors there. After the discussion I networked with a few of the ambassadors in the room and plan to reach out to them for advice on the Foreign Service. I asked Ambassador Cohen about advice on entering and after asking me a series of questions such as my language skills, and willingness to travel, he said- Take the (foreign service officer) test now! I was happy to hear that.

 

Combating Climate Change

As a part of our Friday adventures, I decided to attend a back to school event at the Council for Foreign Relations titled "Combating Climate Change". The panel discussed country's involvement in the process (or lack of) and they explained hot topics such as the conference in Paris, international sections in the north pole, and of course Polar Bears! I'm in no way an expert on climate change and wanted to learn a few things so I decided to go there as opposed to visiting the Turkish Embassy (it was a hard decision but since I lived in Turkey, I decided to learn something new).


The discussion broke down a lot of terms and topics that were cloudy to many of us in the audience and gave us a few take away ideas to get involved in our community- mainly supporting certain initiatives.


After the discussion there were a networking reception (with food!) which gave us the opportunity to learn about all the Council on Foreign Relations has to offer. I was able to score free books on ISIS, African development, and other cools topics (I was able to walk away with about 10 free books!!!) So, amazing event, to say the least ;)

 

One of the Speakers at Council on Foreign Relations

 


 


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