Why We Do the Work We Do
Monday, November 26, 2018TOPICS: Awards and HonorsGlobal ImpactStudent SuccessStudy Abroad
This summer I had the honor of working with a grassroots organization based in the mountains in a small town located about two hours outside of Medellin, Colombia called Granada. This organization, El Club Deportivo Santa Ana, is working consistently with the local community to build peace through sports.
They are effectively engaging all members of the community in this peacebuilding effort through local peace tournaments, sport-oriented activities in elementary schools and creating safe spaces for youth to participate in.
One of the most interesting things we (myself and the organization) encountered this summer was breaking down the barriers between cultures, as I was one of the first interns to venture into Granada. Many of the people I worked with had never met someone who didn’t live locally, let alone in another country altogether. What was absolutely inspiring about this part of the internship was the great tenacity and relentless effort both the team members and myself put into creating such a memorable summer and building such sound relationships.
At the end of the summer, before leaving Granada, the Club hosted a going away party for the interns. During this event, I was presented with an award by the Club, as they wanted to recognize my hard work and dedication to the cause. The image that stays with me the most was when five of the young women I worked with stood up, so proud, at the front of the room ready to present the award. I could see the extreme honor and proudness they felt in their work with the Club and how much they wanted to continue to share the experience with people outside the community. The reason I feel this is important to talk about, is that many people in the community feel forgotten and unimportant in global terms. They were completely surprised that a person from so far away could care so much about the town and its youth, and enjoy the experience as much as I did.
This is something that we need to remember moving forward, that although this organization is quite small, the impact they are making is something rather large and we would honor them immensely by continuing to create relationships there and respect the lifestyle and work they do.
Ready to become an agent of peace and social justice? Learn more about the Kroc School’s MA in Peace and Justice.
The previous post was written by Robin Jensen, Master of Arts in Peace and Justice (MAPJ) student at the Kroc School, about her experience within the MAPJ Internship Program. Watch a video from Robin's internship in a previous blog post here.