Peace Studies students partner with international organizations in the field


7/16/20193 min read, July 16, 2019- Beginning this month, second-year Keough School of Global Affairs (MGA) students with a concentration in International Peace Studies departed for internships with partner organizations in Baltimore, Maryland; Beirut, Lebanon; Bogotá, Colombia; Chicago, Illinois; Nairobi, Kenya; Geneva, Switzerland; San Salvador, El Salvador; Washington, D.C.; Manila, Philippines; and Yangon, Myanmar.

The internships are part of an integrated field learning process that allows MGA students to deepen their identity as reflective practitioners and expand their professional peacebuilding experience.

Students who select the International Peace Studies (IPS) concentration participate in a six-month internship with a leading organization working on peace and justice issues in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and the United States. Throughout the immersive experience, students in the IPS concentration are supported by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studiesfaculty and staff members Susan St. Ville, director of the IPS concentration, and Jennifer Betz, assistant director of the IPS concentration.

Examples of this year’s internship placements include:

In Baltimore, Maryland:

  • Gizem Korunand Mary Mumbi will be serving at Catholic Relief Services (CRS). CRS seeks to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas by promoting human development and encouraging Catholics in the United States to live their faith in solidarity.

In Beirut, Lebanon:

  • Karis Ailabouni will assist the American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA). ANERA helps refugees and others hurt by conflict in the Middle East live with dignity and purpose by mobilizing resources for emergency relief and for sustainable, long-term development.

  • Rana El-Beheiry will serve at Mercy Corps. The organization alleviates suffering, poverty, and oppression by helping people build secure, productive, and just communities.

    In Bogotá, Colombia:

    • Eduardo José Badilla Valdivia will intern with the Kroc Institute’s Peace Accords Matrix (PAM) project team in Bogotá. Through the Barometer initiative, the PAM monitors the implementation of the 2016 Colombian Peace Agreement.

    In Chicago, Illinois:

    In Geneva, Switzerland:

    • Nate Van Duzer will conduct research at ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons), a global coalition of non-governmental organizations committed to a comprehensive, internationally-binding ban on nuclear weapons and the destruction of all nuclear weapons.

    In Manila, Philippines:

    • Novita Liangga Kumula will assist the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, the interim regional government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

      In Nairobi, Kenya:

    • Nzubechi Pantaleon Uwaleme will be assisting the Life and Peace Institute. The Institute contributes to building sustainable peace through reinforcing community resilience in the face of divisions and strengthening relations between social groups.

    In San Salvador, El Salvador:

    • Jacqueline Shrader will intern at the Creative Associates International, an international development organization dedicated to supporting people around the world as they work to build neighborhoods, communities and regions that enable people to “overcome hardship and live peaceful and fulfilling lives.” (Creative Associates)

    In Washington, D.C.:

    • Victoria Nyanjura will be assisting Generations for Peace, a leading global nonprofit peacebuilding organization that empowers volunteer youth leaders to promote active tolerance and responsible citizenship in communities experiencing conflict and violence.

    In Yangon, Myanmar:

    • Ephraim Bassey Emah will be interning at RAFT, formerly known as Conflict Sensitivity and Peacebuilding Effectiveness in Myanmar (CDA). RAFT provides technical support to national and international organizations on conflict analysis, conflict sensitivity and effective peacebuilding.

    While in the field, students will engage in research on topics including:

    • the drivers of violent extremism among youth in Myanmar and the social resources available for de-radicalization;

    • the development of the core legislation that will protect indigenous communities’ right to manage their own land and natural resources;

    • the role of cultural production in the lives of refugees and a better understanding of how cultural heritage is preserved or lost through displacement;

    • how young people engage with stakeholders during intractable conflicts and reasons why youth have not been fully included in current approaches to peacebuilding in Kenya;

    • understanding how experienced international peacebuilding professionals view their work and conduct themselves at the interface of home and work;

    • the development of a framework for “Politicized Healing” that addresses the traumas of police violence and institutionalized racism and allows for individual and communal flourishing;

    • a rhetorical analysis of how various actors (media, the government, NGOs, etc.) describe gangs and gang members in El Salvador and how this rhetoric shifts focus away from other complicit actors involved in systematic violence; and

    • a study of the collective reintegration process of former members of the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP).

    MGA students pursuing concentrations in Sustainable Development or Global Affairs + Specialization will spend eight weeks in the field as part of the Keough School’s Integration Lab.