MARLENA HALKAS – INTERNSHIP AT THE NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST GENOCIDE (CNLG), RWANDA (JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018)

MARLENA HALKAS – INTERNSHIP AT THE NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST GENOCIDE (CNLG), RWANDA (JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018)

I am writing to sincerely thank you for the Global Humanities Grant I was lucky enough to receive for my internship in Rwanda over the summer. It is difficult to express my gratitude for all that I was able to experience because of this assistance. Travelling to Rwanda as part of my studies is something I never could have imagined when I commenced my degree.

 

I was in Rwanda from 2nd January to 8th February 2018. My internship at the National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG) provided me with priceless insight and new understandings about the issues that post-genocide societies must face and respond to. My tasks ranged from writing emails and official letters to editing government reports and drafting research papers. Each task exposed me to a different element of CNLG’s work and the scope of its responsibilities. I learnt about the government’s prominent role in memorialisation, genocide documentation and the ongoing plight of survivors.

 

Apart from enabling me to get to Rwanda and work in Kigali, the Global Humanities Grant also allowed me to travel to more remote areas of the country and visit numerous memorial sites, such as Murambi and Ntarama.

 

Another of the highlights of my internship was writing a speech for the Director of CNLG that he presented at a commemoration event at the Kigali Genocide Memorial. In the audience were representatives from the United Nations, the Ambassadors of Israel and Germany and numerous other esteemed guests. I was honoured to write this speech and be at the event to see it presented.

 

This internship has reaffirmed that the areas I have been pursuing in my Arts degree (Human Rights and Criminology) are definitely areas that I would like to work in in the future. Being in Rwanda also highlighted the ways these areas link, in the sphere of international crime and responding to social challenges in its aftermath. I am hoping to serve in a volunteer position with the UN as well as NGOs in countries with recent or current experiences of conflict to further explore this area. Furthermore, I have decided to work on a project that will fuse my Arts studies with Primary Education, by working with a local NGO in Kigali to create a mobile book van. The van will provide literacy resources to children whose schools lack the resources that would foster a reading culture and encourage literacy development. Being in Kigali left a very deep impression on me and I am passionate about working there in the future.

 

There is so much to look back on fondly from my trip, from the people I befriended to working at CNLG and exploring the beautiful country. Once again, thank you so much for enabling me to do this. The direction and reassurance it has provided me for my career path cannot be understated, and I am now more passionate and motivated in my studies than ever before.

 

Sincerely,

 

Marlena Halkas