So… last night I got THE EMAIL. The email I have been waiting for since December. The email that officially told me where I was going to be living and who I was going to be working with this coming September. Wanna know?
Well, I got the placement I was hoping for! I will be located in Lilongwe, Malawi from September to April of this coming year, and I will be working with the Jesuit Refugee Service, assisting in running their programs. These programs centre on providing education and training to the residents of Dzaleka Refugee Camp, to improve their ability to support themselves and their families.
Dzaleka Refugee Camp is located within an hour’s drive of Lilongwe, and I will be working in the camp for half my work-week, and at the office in Lilongwe for the other few days. Dzaleka is the only refugee camp in Malawi and houses over 10,000 refugees who have fled from conflicts mostly in DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Somalia.
I hoped to get this placement for the following reasons:
- I went to Rwanda in 2007 for 3 weeks and was captured by the people there. I also had the opportunity to visit a refugee camp there, and have since volunteered with a local refugee assistance organization. I have also completed quite a few papers and done a lot of research on my own about the Hutu & Tutsi people. My understanding is that Dzaleka Refugee Camp is comprised of the same people groups, which is a draw for me.
- The trip to Rwanda was run by International Teams, an organization that I love and have continued to volunteer with, and currently has a couple working in Dzaleka refugee camp (I believe one of the first year of graduates actually lived with them).
- My goals following this degree are to complete a Bachelor of Education and Masters of Library Science. I have worked quite a bit with children and youth throughout my life, and worked at a library during high school, so I do have experience in both fields, and find that jobs related to that are very fulfilling and enjoyable for me. In researching JRS, I found that they have built a library in the camp and are also focused on education. I feel that my knowledge and skills in these areas, in coordination with the environmental side of my INDEV program, will combine to make this placement 'EPIC', as my brothers would say!
Check out more about JRS & the Malawi program at these websites: http://www.jrs.net/ & http://www.jc-hem.org
Oh my goodness, I am sitting here so filled with joy as I type this! This experience feels like it is coming so soon and yet is still so far away at the same time! One more week of classes, one exam, then one more term of school before I fly from Toronto to Lilongwe to begin putting my studies of the past three years to work, and my dreams from the past decade (or longer) will become my life! Yay!
Welcome! My name is Katiana and I am a development professional pursuing my dream to live out Isaiah 1:17 to the best of my abilities. I am passionate about teaching and working with vulnerable families and children to improve their lives sustainably.
This blog is composed of my personal opinions, which do not necessarily reflect the opinion or views of institutions or organizations that I may be or have been affiliated with.