June 2016

Meeting Marte

We are excited to introduce International Affairs intern, Marte Samuelstuen, who is spending the summer with us at our Head Office in Addis Ababa. We sat down with Marte to find out more about herself, and the programme she has travelled to Ethiopia with. Stay up to date with what Marte is up to, by following her blog here: https://addisnewschoolifp.wordpress.com/blogposts/marte/

Tell us about yourself and how you came to be in Ethiopia

I’m thrilled to be joining Hope for Children as an intern this summer, sharing my time with their Anti-Human Trafficking/Women and Child Livelihood Program as well as their Child, Youth, and Community Enhancement Program. This internship placement builds upon my professional and academic background of working within youth education and women’s empowerment, with English-learners as well as refugees/migrants.

I’m currently completing a graduate degree in International Affairs with a concentration in Cities and Social Justice at The New School in New York, NY, USA. I’m in in Ethiopia this summer as a part of The New School’s International Field Program (IFP), and I'm accompanied by nine other New School graduate students. Over the course of ten weeks, we are all participating in different internships and/or conducting research with community-based organisations and non-governmental organisations in Addis Ababa.

 Tell us about the International Field Program at The New School 

IFP participants spend the spring semester preparing for their summer program. For Ethiopia, we had a weekly lab focusing on the history and cultural context of Ethiopia as well as a weekly Amharic class. We are continuing our Amharic instruction while we are in Addis Ababa, and a weekly seminar allows us to hear from a variety of guest speakers, each specializing in a different field within Addis. Through seminars and fieldwork, the IFP provides students with a critical context for understanding global issues as well as an opportunity to develop foundational tools for working in diverse communities, conducting research, analyzing policies, and implementing projects in developing countries. The IFP is designed to extend learning beyond the classroom. Students get first-hand field exposure to a multiplicity of perspectives, ideas, and people through an initial in-country orientation, guest speakers, field trips, professional internships, faculty-supervised research projects, and day-to-day interactions.

IMG 7729

Smiles at St Yared: Marte meets students from The School of St Yared to hear about how quality education is transforming their lives.

What do you hope to learn from your time at Hope for Children?

Through my internship at Hope for Children, I hope to build upon my previous experience in nonprofit, educational, and administrative settings by learning more about how HFC implements grassroots development as well as service delivery through a variety of their programs in Addis Ababa. I am especially excited to partner with HFC’s self-help groups and their vocational training programs supporting returnee-women populations. I am eager to learn more about how HFC is addressing the various psycho-social needs of returnee populations in conjunction with their vocational training and self-help groups. During the summer education program for HFC youth, I will be helping with English instruction, which will include conversation skills as well as overall academic support. I have really enjoyed meeting some the youth and families who will be participating in this program when they have visited the HFC offices, and I am grateful to have been welcomed so warmly to the HFC team.

What have you learned so far?

I’m continually impressed by the breadth and width of services that HFC is offering throughout Addis Ababa, and I’m hoping my internship will help HFC further integrate their programs as my responsibilities are shared between multiple direct-service projects. As an HFC intern, my ultimate goal is effective collaboration; as I develop my own skills through this experience, my hope is to contribute in meaningful ways, supporting and advancing the work of HFC’s various educational, health, and livelihood initiatives in the area of youth education and anti-human trafficking.