Insight into a Washington D.C International Development internship
Second year International Development and Italian student Ludwig Ahlqvist blogs about his experience of working as an intern in a Washington D.C based NGO ‘Free The Slaves’.
"I did a two months internship this summer (2015) at a Washington, D.C. based NGO called Free the Slaves (FTS). I became interested in FTS during the first year module 'Making of the modern world', where we were introduced to the topic of ‘Modern Day Slavery’ and to NGOs working on this issue. FTS is one of the NGOs working to end slavery and I began to research more about their work. I found out that they work through a 'Community Based Model', which means that they are not rescuing slaves directly, but instead are working with local communities who know the area where they operate better. This approach is a bottom-up approach and one that I am interested in. In the past I have been working with young people in Sweden about cultural diversity and openness in society through youth exchanges in Europe and the MENA (Middle East North Africa) region. During these youth exchanges the young people learn about different cultures and people through interaction with each other. It is a very simple method but I have seen an amazing change in the behaviour of young people through this approach. I think this is approach is similar to the one used by FTS. FTS staff work with the affected communities themselves to address the problems of slavery, rather than bringing in their own solutions."
FTS partners with grassroots organizations in six countries to free people from slavery, help them rebuild their lives, and do what it takes to end slavery in their communities. Current partners include local anti-slavery organizations in Ghana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Brazil, India and Nepal.