Home Again, Home Again

December 12, 2014 | Olivia, DVM, CWY, India

I returned to Canada with mixed feelings. I was very excited to see my friends, family and dog, but I was also aware of what I would be leaving behind. Now that the internship is ending, I find myself reflecting on what I have enjoyed, what I wish I had done differently, what I would do if I had more time, and how I will adjust to living in Canada again. Three months is the longest I have spent outside my country, and yet I feel as though the time has zipped by. I don’t think I would ever have felt that I completed everything I set out to complete. I found that as I was finishing my tasks, I was rushing to get things done, trying to take on more that was not feasible. All of a sudden I was thinking “Oh wait, I need to look into this, I need to do this, I need to try this.” But it was time to return to my country. As much as I love my country, I don’t think I was quite ready to leave. However, if I had four months, I would want five. Essentially, I am torn between two worlds that I have learned to love, one which I have explored for many years, am comfortable in, and have learned to behave appropriately in, and another that I am just beginning to discover and integrate into. I reflect on my internship journey and I am so thankful that I had this opportunity to work in another country. I am able to track my own confidence in who I am and in my host country through my assignments that I have been completing throughout. I have gained valuable insights about India from people living in India, and I have also gained valuable insights about myself.
When I was home, I knew I would miss washing my clothes in a bucket, waving down an auto when I need to get somewhere quickly, leaping off the sometimes moving bus at my stop, practising my Hindi with the locals, watching people dance in the local style with total abandon and with huge smiles on their faces, asking questions about India with my colleagues and friends, and participating in and learning about the many festivals in the region. I feel very blessed to have gone to India at the time that I did. I avoided the hottest, most uncomfortable weather, I was able to witness many interesting festivals, and my organization was going through some very interesting changes and working on many new projects while I was there, allowing me to gain more perspective about work in India. I have made many new and wonderful friends in India who will be difficult to forget.
Essentially, this experience was phenomenal. Any internship and occupation has it’s own unique challenges, but I am fortunate that I found mine were hardly insurmountable for me. I have found that it was more difficult to re-adapt to Canadian culture, and my life here than I anticipated. I think my experience has helped me to gain some clarity regarding decisions for my future. I definitely think an internship is worth consideration during university. It can help to discover whether one is cut out for the realities of the field, differing work cultures, and other aspects of international development. I learned that by body dislikes change, which meant that I was ill almost the entire time I was in India, but my mind loves change, which allowed me to cope with the challenges I faced. An internship is useful for someone who might work in this environment and needs a test drive to see whether they can cope in a different environment from what they are accustomed to. I see this internship as the next step in my journey towards international development. It helped me to answer the question “Can I do this as a career?”

Goodbye India!

December 12, 2014 | Travis, DVM, CWY, India, SPID

Being in India for the past few months was an incredible experience. I learned so much about India, about my host organization, and even about myself. India is a beautiful country, and would be amazing to simply travel around, but doing an international internship gave me a unique experience of living in India, becoming part of a community, and learning about Indian culture in a way I could not as a tourist. There were definitely challenges at times, and being far from home in a different culture is not always comfortable, but in the end I will value every moment of my experience. There were tough times, but there were many more fun times; nights out with friends, travelling, exploring Markets, forts, and temples, trying street food, Indian sweets, and fresh fruit. This international internship allowed me to explore this new culture and see India, but more importantly, it forced me to grow as a person, allowed me gain international experience, and left me with amazing memories and a love for India.

My internship with SPID (Society for Participatory Integrated Development) was an incredible learning experience. Instead of learning about development through lectures and research I was able to experience, and see development first hand. This was an opportunity for me to gain international experience, and dip my toes into the development world. SPID has programs working with mostly youth and women, helping raise their standard of living through skills development, heath, education, and advocacy. It was a unique chance to see how a local NGO such as SPID operates, what programs they have, and how they make a difference in everyday lives. During my volunteer experience I have gotten to know the kind people who work at SPID and members of the community they work with. Being able to contribute to their work has been an extremely rewarding experience.

My supervisors and co-workers were always extremely helpful and understanding. They wanted me to have the best experience possible, and were always willing, if not eager, to teach me about their country and their work. I got to know the students in the job-readiness program, and see them grow over the course of their 3-month program. I got to go to health camps, street plays, and really feel like part of the SPID community.

Leaving India, I am leaving behind amazing roommates and co-workers who I came to know and love over my short stay. Reflecting on my internship, it is the people I met who made it such a memorable experience. They were my friends, my teachers, and my travel buddies. It is hard leaving and knowing that I will not see them at the office, or be able to talk to them every evening after work. I will always cherish the friends and memories I made during my stay, and the lessons that I learned will stick with me through the rest of my university career and beyond.

All that remains is to say farewell India, and thank you for al the amazing memories!

De retour à la case départ? Pas tout à fait.

December 8, 2014 | Roxanne, ECH, MAC, Nepal, Ban Landmines Campaign Nepal

Me voilà officiellement de retour au pays, à parcourir le campus de l’université d’Ottawa, à reconnecter avec mes ami(e)s et ma famille, et à reprendre ma vie quotidienne ici. Toutefois, j’hésite à employer le mot « reprendre », puisque ce n’est pas tout à fait le cas. Je ne reprends pas le quotidien que j’ai quitté en septembre. Les choses ont évoluées, mais plus important encore, j’ai changée. Comment cela pourrait-il en être autrement?

Les trois derniers mois m’ont permis d’acquérir de nouvelles habitudes et de nouvelles compétences. Les gens que je viens de quitter ont partagé avec moi leurs conseils et leurs valeurs, des atouts que j’espère être en mesure de mettre en pratique dans les futurs projets que j’entreprendrai. Ces changements seront peut-être imperceptibles pour mon entourage, et cela me va. Tout ce qui m’importe, c’est de garder le souvenir de cette expérience bien vivant dans ma mémoire.

En partant d’Ottawa, j’ai quitté une vie où chaque minute compte et dont le rythme effréné est synonyme d’efficacité. Malgré mes efforts pour être des plus organisés, peu importe le nombre de tâches que j’essayais d’accomplir simultanément, j’avais constamment l’impression qu’il n’y a pas assez d’heures dans une journée pour arriver à tout faire. C’est quelque chose que j’ai peu à peu appris à mettre de côté. Non pas d’être efficace ou d’être organisé, mais plutôt de vivre dans le moment présent, accepter les choses que je ne peux contrôler et mieux savoir faire face aux imprévus. Mes collègues népalaises me ramenaient constamment à l’ordre, en me demandant ; «à quoi bon stresser, cela va-t-il changer quelques chose?». Mettre mon énergie dans ce qui importe plutôt qu’appréhender, et apprendre à contrôler mes pensées à travers la méditation sont définitivement des habitudes de vie que je veux explorer davantage maintenant que je suis de retour. Je souhaite également savoir m’émerveiller des petits plaisirs du quotidien comme j’ai su le faire à Katmandou. Ce n’est pas seulement en voyage qu’il faut reconnaître la beauté des choses ordinaires, mais chez soi également.

Est-ce que j’ai un mot de la fin à partager avec vous? En toute honnêteté, non. Je ne peux résumer mon aventure au Népal et trouver les bons mots pour exprimer mes sentiments en quelques lignes. Je pourrais parler pendant des jours du travail qu’il reste à faire pour sensibiliser les gens aux droits des personnes handicapées, des paysages que j’ai pu admirer à Katmandou, Pokhara et Chitwan, de même que des différences qui existent entre la culture népalaise et canadienne. Je suis loin d’avoir complètement satisfait ma curiosité et je compte bien continuer d’apprendre dans les semaines, les mois et même les années à venir. Ce stage n’est pas une expérience isolée dans mon parcours; il fait partie de mon cheminement personnel et professionnel – un processus continu.

Namaste, Roxanne.

Reflecting on an Amazing Three Months

December 5, 2014 | Ryan, PAP, CWY, India, Swami Sivananda Memorial Institute

My internship and placement at Swami Sivananda Memorial Institute (SSMI) was nothing short of amazing! As a volunteer, I feel as though I was able to contribute to my full capacity while always being engaged in several programs. Working with the SSMI team has been an exhilarating experience where I really feel I was able to grow as an intern, a student, and a person. As SSMI works in the areas of education, health, nutrition, and women’s empowerment, I was able to really broaden my understanding of each of the program areas and really understand the role of NGOs in meeting individuals on the ground. I was engaged at all levels, with each day always bringing something new and exciting.

My first weeks involved me taking a look at the various projects that are currently underway, spending a couple of hours with each of the program coordinators and officers to learn about the what is currently being done. Throughout my three months I also had the opportunity to draft several program proposals (marketing strategies, sanitary napkins, and education), attend meetings with the Director and General Secretary, visit rural India, and attend artisan outlets such as Dilli Haat where the products made by the textile production unit are sold. Needless to say, my internship was full of unique and invigorating experiences for me to grow and learn. SSMI really provided my with an environment where I could showcase my strengths while still providing me with an opportunity to learn and the possibility explore diverse subject matters.

For my long-term project, I was involved in a life skills program called “Ujjwal Jeewan” for underprivileged adolescent girls. It involved holding sessions with the girls in the area of Jahangirpuri to develop the ten life skills outlined by the World Health Organisation. I had the opportunity to do data analysis for a baseline survey and draft the final report which will be submitted to the Ministry of Women and Child Development. Working on the program with the SSMI team was an amazing experience as it really provided me with the opportunity to be engaged with an ‘on-the-ground’ project while still being able to showcase my expertise and skills.

Leaving India has been quite tough for me… I really miss everything I was able to experience, the people I met, and the amazing work. I feel as though I have really been able to establish my place in the organisation, where I had the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way. It was truly an amazing adventure! I feel as though I was able to grow so much in three months than I ever could have if I were to have stayed and completed the semester in the classroom. There really is no other way to fully understand the NGO sector, and I am so happy that I was able to take part in this experience and complete my internship with such an amazing organisation like SSMI.

Fin du stage

December 4, 2014 | Olivier, EIL, Uniterra, Bolivie, FundacionMaya

Le moment est venu pour moi d’écrire un dernier blog sur cette magnifique aventure en terres Inca. Je suis présentement au Canada pour suivre les dernières formations à l’université. C’est le temps de décanter et porter un autre regard sur mon expérience. Je dois dire qu’au niveau social ça s’est très bien passé. Grâce à mes activités extérieures au travail, le rugby notamment, j’ai pu rencontrer des gens fabuleux, de bons amis que j’espère garder longtemps. Ils m’ont permis de voir la Bolivie et La Paz sous un autre angle et de m’intégrer rapidement à cette société en pleine ébullition. Mes amis m’ont bien expliqué que la Bolivie change peu à peu et que les opportunités seront grandissantes au courant des prochaines années. Ils m’ont par contre indiqué qu’il restait beaucoup à faire et qu’il manquait toujours des leaders et des entrepreneurs boliviens pour compléter le changement.

Au niveau de l’entrepreneuriat, ma dernière assignation m’a permis de mieux comprendre quel était le statut réel de l’entrepreneuriat en Bolivie et en Amérique du Sud en général. Au courant du dernier mois, j’ai effectué des recherches afin de trouver des textes académiques adéquats pour une maîtrise que la Fundacion Maya va lancer à l’automne (printemps au Canada) prochain. Cette maîtrise, qui se donne en ligne, a pour but de former l’esprit entrepreneurial chez les participants. De cette manière, la Fundacion Maya s’attaque à un problème majeur en Bolivie le manque d’entreprise d’envergure. Ici, je ne veux pas dire que la Bolivie est dépourvue d’entreprises ou que ces dernières sont de second ordre, mais force est d’admettre que la majorité des entreprises boliviennes sont des microentreprises. Malheureusement, elles ont peu de chances de se révéler comme étant des facteurs d’expansion économique, favorisait l’innovation et la création d’emplois de qualité. En effet, le trois-quarts de ces entreprises ne se développeront jamais comme petite entreprise et ne croiront jamais pour devenir un établissement fructueux.

Plusieurs facteurs peuvent expliquer ce fait. L’explication majeur étant que cette entreprise n’est pas née d’une volonté profonde de l’entrepreneur, mais bien d’une nécessité. Pour ces entrepreneurs, leur commerce est une activité de survie; sans cette activité, ils seraient sans emploi et sans moyen de subsistance. C’est un peu comme s’ils étaient des entrepreneurs par défaut. De cette manière, le propriétaire ne cherchera pas automatiquement à développer son produit ou service ni à faire croire son entreprise. Malheureusement, ce n’est pas le type d’entrepreneuriat que la Bolivie a besoin. La Bolivie a besoin d’entreprises avec une forte possibilité de croissance afin d’offrir des emplois de qualité à la population. De plus, ce type d’entreprise nécessite des idées novatrices afin de progresser. Subséquemment, cette innovation enrichie le pays et permet d’autres débouchées dans d’autres secteurs.

C’est donc pour cela que mon dernier mois a été très intéressant. Pouvoir contribuer, tout en apprenant, à l’entrepreneuriat au pays a été pour moi quelque chose d’enrichissant et quelque peu gratifiant. Je peux participer à la construction de l’édifice avec une pierre, aussi petite qu’elle soit, c’est tant mieux. Je réalise maintenant comment s’organise l’aide et le développement humanitaire, comment elle fonctionne, quels sont ses particularités et ses défis. Si ce stage servait pour moi d’introduction au monde de l’humanitaire, je crois que ce fut une belle introduction. Je crois que je n’ai pas eu à faire face à des manques au niveau matériel comme mes collègues d’autres pays, mais la dynamique de travail m’assemblée plus ou moins similaire. Il y a beaucoup d’adaptation au niveau des horaires et de l’organisation entre les différents acteurs à faire, mais rien de vraiment impossible à accomplir. Finalement, Je tiens à remercier la Fundacion Maya pour m’avoir intégré à son équipe et à ses projets, tout comme le CECI qui m’a donné l’opportunité de vivre cette aventure et un dernier remerciement à la Faculté des Sciences Sociales de l’université pour permettre à ses étudiants d’effectuer des stages à l’étranger. Merci de m’avoir lu et au plaisir.

Wrapping Up, But Not Saying Goodbye!

December 1, 2014 | Ashley, DVM, WUSC, Malawi

I have just concluded the final week of my internship with WUSC as a Program Assistant for the Academic Leadership Program and the Student Refugee Program. This internship has been both amazing and difficult on so many levels for me. However, I have truly loved going to work everyday, especially the days that I travel to the Dzaleka refugee camp. Although the work at the office has been short, it has been extremely busy with preparation for the last few weeks at work. The SRP students are preparing to write their TOEFL and DELF/DALF tests, therefore I have been working to prepare the English students for their TOEFL exam. This preparation has included practice reading tests, listening tests, and practicing speaking English with one another. Hopefully, the students are well prepared and will do well on their TOEFL test in the upcoming month.
In addition, I have really been connecting with my students, gaining a better understanding of their lives, hopes, and struggles. However, I feel like it’s only been the last couple of weeks that I’ve been able to make these connections. The first two months of my internship was filled with uncertainty and trying to understand what was expected of me in my role as Program Assistant. The uncertainty prohibited connecting with the students to a certain extent; however, once I became more comfortable in my role I was able to build a stronger relationship with my students. In fact, I intend to continue working with three of my SRP students during my research as they have agreed to act as translators for me while I am conducting unstructured interviews for my Master’s thesis.
Regarding the ALP students, I have been providing sessions for the grade six and seven girls in the camp. My first session, beyond the introductory session, focused on leadership and teamwork and my second session focused on effective communication. Unfortunately, just as I have finally gotten the ALP sessions started my internship has come to an end. I can only hope that the next Program Assistant is able to start up the sessions with greater ease and speed than I was able. To support this hope, I have left a detailed report for the next Program Assistant regarding my recommendations for him/her on how to conduct the ALP sessions, what process is required prior to each session, and who to engage with regarding translation of documents and sessions. Hopefully, this will help to kickstart the next ALP sessions.
On my last day as a Program Assistant with WUSC in the camp, I threw a goodbye party with the students. This party was for the English and French teachers, the students, and myself! The teachers because their contracts are also ending this week, the students to celebrate their hard work in TOEFL and DELF/DALF preparation, and myself as it was my final day as a WUSC Program Assistant with them. I bought food and drinks and we had a proper celebration. The party was great and it was really nice to see the students relax and have fun with their teachers and myself! The students gave speeches and did stand-up comedy. They also gave me four bracelets reading We Love You, Ashley, WUSC 2015/2016, and Zikomo. Additionally, the students made me an appreciation certificate! It was very touching and thoughtful of them.
As previously mentioned, now that I have completed my internship, I am going to continue travelling to the refugee camp as I will be conducting my research for my Master’s thesis within the camp. My research is focusing on perceptions of socio-economic security between female refugees and refugee camp stakeholders. Therefore, I will begin recruiting participants, training my translators, and working to complete my research within the next three months.
Wish me luck in my upcoming research! Zikomo!

A Bittersweet End

December 1, 2014 | Lindy Delmage, DVM, CWY, India, RMKM

The end of the internship is fast approaching. This has led me to a period of reflection. I am re-evaluating my environment from a point of view where I have a better understanding of the culture. I have grown comfortable with my daily schedule here at the RMKM compound. The slowness and relaxed attitude towards work has been a struggle to get used to. Now I find myself enjoying it more and more. India is such a culturally different place from Canada that it was hard to get used to, but now I am in conflict with the thought of going back. Ingrid (fellow intern from uOttawa) and I often joke about what it’s going to be like at home. How we will find everything overwhelming so will just go back to the safety of the habits we have created here. My time here has taught me to let go and enjoy the moment, to not compare my experiences to those of others. Spending so much time within the compound has given me a lot of time to think, especially about how grateful I am for the privilege that I was born with in Canada.
This week has been particularly enjoyable. On Saturday I went with a colleague to visit some hotels to try to organize some exhibitions of RMKM’s products that are made by the vocational training unit. The trip was successful overall and we got several good responses. Another event that contributed to it being a good week was when I found a young puppy in the compound. The daughter of one of the staff members named him Tommy. Tommy now hangs out near the dining area with the cooking ladies for the most part. Even one that is scared of him loves it when I hold him, and she insists on me taking him to my room in the evening so he can nap in a warm area. Occasionally I take him up to my room during the day so he can take a nap in my lap. He is very sweet and comes running up to me whenever I see him.

On Sunday, it was my birthday and I visited Pushkar for the last time. Ingrid and I went to the Hard Rock restaurant where we enjoyed some great food. Then we went shopping for some souvenirs. Pushkar is a place where foreigners with dreads walk around barefoot, there are juice bars everywhere, and in general, where there is a relaxing atmosphere. I will miss how friendly and helpful everyone is in India. It is hard to believe that I will be going back to Delhi on Friday (today is Monday) and to Canada on Sunday.
One area that I told myself I would explore at the beginning of my internship is how being in a pair (with Ingrid) would affect my experience. We have been together practically 24/7 for the past 3 months. She is the one that listens to my thoughts late at night when I speak them out loud. I think I would have experienced a lot more loneliness if she hadn’t been with me. She has gone through all the experiences that I have, and we have adapted to being together all the time. I cannot imagine going home and not having anyone to share my room with.

Day 82- A Month of Fulfillment

November 27, 2014 | Jennifer, DVM, CWY, India, Seva Mandir

As I am sitting here, one more time on the roof of my home away from home watching the sunset and enjoying the wonderful heat, words are hard to process and the thought of leaving Udaipur is harder than I had imagined it would be. India has had an impact on me. Working at Seva Mandir for the last 12 weeks has had an effect on all the spheres of my being. Now, I know it may sound “cheesy” or “cliché”, but I am leaving this country with an improved version of myself. This internship went by in a flash, yet I can say it has allowed me to have a real taste of what international development or NGO work is like. Although it took some time to get my feet on the ground and understand the work culture, this experience has given me a different outlook on life and a wide range of abilities that can only be obtained in an international context like this one. Indeed, this experience has provided me with so much more knowledge than any book or class could ever possibly convey. This internship allowed me to discover another culture, appreciate life’s little luxuries and the opportunities that I have been granted with and detached myself from unnecessary worries and materialistic stuff.

This last month has truly been a treat. I started feeling more comfortable and my friendships and relationships with my co-workers only became stronger. Feelings of comfort and happiness were omnipresent. Working with young underprivileged children in the field, gave me a great sense of fulfillment, joy and realization. I never felt so connected to pure strangers in my life. Regardless of not being able to fully communicate, I built such strong bonds with these children so willing to learn and always smiling no matter how challenging life is sometimes. I realized how many of us take a whole lot of things for granted. It was a blessing to be able to work in rural villages and be exposed to all kinds of circumstances.

As the end of this internship is slowly approaching, it is with a heavy heart that I am leaving Udaipur, but I am also smiling at the thought of having my heavy “life backpack” filled with new knowledge and unforgettable memories that I will treasure forever. Thank you India!

The end of an adventure.

November 26, 2014 | Ingrid Bachner, CRM, CWY, India, RMKM

I remember my first two weeks in India, how slowly the time passed by because everything was new and exciting. Since then, time flew by, and I have now nothing but three little days left in India. Looking back on my experience, it has definitely been quite a journey, filled with adventures and life lessons. Not only did I learn to be resilient, I also got the chance to visit Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, and New Delhi (as well as the little village in which I spent most of my internship.) I’ve seen fantastic places, met wonderful people from all over the world, rode overcrowded city buses (for 20 cents!), bargained with rickshawers, bought more hippie pants than one should be allowed to own, took overnight sleeper buses for about 5$, and slept in wonderful hotels for about just as little. I’ve seen cows, buffaloes, peacocks, dogs and puppies, cats, pigs, lizards, camels, frogs, elephants, katydids, parrots, goats, sheep, and many more animals that I’m forgetting about right now, all wandering the streets, sharing the road with the people, the cars, and the tuk-tuks. I’ve had chai with fantastic people, hitchhiked on motorcycles, danced to Indian music, and ate green mandarins.

During my time here, I’ve also realized how little one needs. I’ve worn the same black t-shirt for 12 weeks, ate on the floor with my hands out of tin plates, didn’t see myself in a mirror for almost an entire three months, had no shower or hot water, shared my room with more spiders than one can count, wore my flipflops until they broke (and after they broke too), and ate the same food for lunch and dinner, week after week. I’ve grown so fond of this simplicity that I’m afraid going back home is going to be extremely overwhelming, as I am not used to the same luxuries anymore.

I hope to get the chance to come back one day, to visit a bit more, and to immerse myself in the hippie vibe once again. ‘Til next time, India!

A hard reality to overcome

November 26, 2014 | Rachael, SVS, South Africa, Cape Town Refugee Center

As I am working directly with refugees every day, I have had the privilege of seeing what their world is like and enabling them to face the challenges of their reality. I have heard their stories, seen their homes and got to know their children. So many of the refugees come to South Africa from traumatic pasts consisting of violence and corruption, only to find a hard life, struggling against poverty, unemployment and xenophobia. Although there are many other factors, I find that these are the most detrimental to integrating and finding a better life in South Africa.

Most refugees that come into Cape Town Refugee Center are living in poverty. They come in to the refugee center visibly hungry, tired and wearing torn, dirty clothes asking desperately for anything we can give them. We can only offer them assistance for one month’s food vouchers or one month’s rent. The mothers bring in their children who are crying for no apparent reason, so I conclude they must be hungry or unwell. Some have been in South Africa for a decade and are still trapped in poverty. Living off pay check to pay check has kept them from building any kind of savings. The poverty prevents the children from succeeding in their own schooling as the cheaper schools do not offer as good of an education, therefore preventing them from making it into any kind of university in their future.

The unemployment rate for all of South Africa is 25.2%. So you can imagine what the statistic would be for refugees. A huge majority of the refugees I work with are unemployed and nearly all of the ones who are working have unstable jobs in which they barely make enough to provide for themselves or their family. The refugees may be very educated in their countries but come to South Africa and must start all over again, which is a very frustrating loss to deal with. The women work as housecleaners or in salons plaiting hair while the men work in construction, security or small odd jobs. There are a few who have managed to keep their own businesses selling different products. Cape Town Refugee Center sponsors their new businesses and has had quite a few success stories.

Xenophobia is one of the biggest problems for refugees in South Africa. Xenophobia is the dislike and intolerance towards foreigners trying to settle in South Africa. A lot of local people do not welcome the refugees; on the contrary they commit acts against the refugees to prevent them from integrating and building a secure home in South Africa. There is a lot of injustice and discrimination against the refugees. One of the reasons the refugees cannot find good stable jobs is because no one wants to hire a foreigner when they could hire a South African. The shops and houses of refugees are robbed and burned down regularly to demonstrate that people do not want them there. Many of the refugees coming into the refugee center have been attacked simply because of their ethnicity. So even though the refugees no longer live in their war-torn countries, they are still in danger in South Africa. Facing xenophobia is a very difficult part of the reality of refugees.

Working at the Cape Town Refugee Center has permitted me to get to know the refugees very closely and to understand through their point of view what their life is like in South Africa. Although they are all vulnerable and struggling, they are happy to be a lot safer than where they have come from. It is amazing and inspiring to see they have a strong faith and joy through all they go through.