I am filled with sadness as I leave my internship with the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, a place I considered my second home. I was received with kindness and mentored with compassion by Chloe Schwabbe and Scott Wright, who not only shared their vast knowledge with us but also welcomed our ideas. I began my internship in September as an economic justice advocate. I was assigned four countries that I knew little about, and I am leaving quite informed about them. I had the opportunity of doing hill visits, attending briefings that expanded my knowledge on economic justice and other related issues. I had the privilege of meeting two dignified Columban missionaries, Father Tim and Father John, who inspired me with their accounts of the work that they do.
I particularly enjoyed doing research and writing articles on specific issues. I was quite passionate about my research and e-bulletin on educating girls, a subject that is so close to home for me. I also gained more information about the US political structure and how policies are made in Congress.
Though our Friday gatherings I felt closer to the other Columbans. This communal time also increased my appreciation for this organization and my faith. I learned that faith and justice should be inseparable as Christ himself was an advocate of humankind, especially for the poor. I also learned that it takes patience, courage and dedication to be an advocate. The process of change is discouragingly gradual but one must not give up the fight for justice.
I leave here with so much gratitude for the guidance and support extended to me during my internship. This has been a gratifying experience that has transformed me into a better person and advocate. In the spirit of St. Columban, I wish to continue my struggle for peace and justice.