Towards the end of my time as a Parliamentor I applied to be one of 16 Christian Aid Collective interns across the country, focused on engaging young people with justice issues. With a bit of luck and a lot of prayers I was accepted onto the programme. It has been a few weeks now since I first walked into the Christian Aid HQ as a bona fide intern and I’m beginning to settle in. I thought I would share what it’s like to intern at a faith based international development organisation.
We started our first week with four days of induction, providing a whistle stop tour of everything Christian Aid. I was struck by how Christian Aid sees faith, politics and development as inherently linked: they don’t see their campaigns or advocacy work as separate from their faith-based foundation.
It was also really eye-opening to see that Christian Aid works with people of all faiths and none. I saw this reflected in those around me at the induction and I’m continually aware of it in the offices. Whilst it’s true that most people at Christian Aid are probably Christian, they are surely from the whole wide spectrum of what it means to be Christian, working alongside people of no faith and other faiths for one aim: to end poverty.
After an intense induction, including some nerve-wracking security training where we learnt what to do if a grenade goes off during our trip to Ethiopia, we headed off to Greenbelt festival with some really great CA staff. I volunteered with the campaigns team to help encourage festival goers to get involved in Christian Aid’s latest campaign action on climate change. It was an interesting experience volunteering in this fashion. I had to very quickly learn all about climate change, our latest campaigns and very quickly become comfortable with walking up to strangers and urging them to take action! It was great, even if completely knackering!
With Greenbelt over we all headed to our respective regions of the country to settle into our offices. I’ve been at my office in London for two weeks now and it’s still incredibly interesting. So far I have learnt about how Christian Aid has set out to tackle gender inequality and have completed a theology training course giving me real insight into both how broad Christianity is and the threads that run through the faith as a whole.
My role is to help engage young people on issues such as social justice. As part of my role I have started meeting with youth leaders and pastors across London so that I will be able to go out and start delivering workshops. I want to inspire and motivate young people to get involved and take action against injustice. I think working with Christian Aid will help to make this happen. Although Christian Aid operates with a Christian identity, it is a very inclusive charity that aims to reach out to all parts of society. I think working with Christian Aid will give me the capacity to really make a difference, and I look forward to the rest of my time here.
Nonki is currently preparing to go to Ethiopia as part of her internship with Christian Aid.