• Adventures of an Intern

    Posted by Laura

    26 November, 2012

    Whenever people ask me what it is that I actually do at Micah, I find it a bit hard to explain.

    “I’m an intern,” I say, “the political engagement intern.”

    “And what does that mean? What do you do?”

    “Well,” I begin to explain, “I work in the office, with Ben, learning about the political process, thinking about campaigns, and mulling over how Christians can be engaging with the Australian government, being advocates of the poor, and effectively providing aid.”

    To be honest, that’s not even half of it.

    A bit of background:

    My name is Laura, and I’ve spent the past couple of years at Sydney University studying international relations. It’s been great, but a little bit abstract. For a long time I’ve been interested in issues of poverty, and have had a vague sense of the calling on Christians to actively work to right injustice, but with little sense of what that can, or should look like in reality.

    Towards the end of last year, I heard that Micah Challenge offered internships, as a chance to get involved in the campaign for a year, working on different areas. Without really knowing what I was getting myself in for, and next to no experience in advocacy, I sent off my application!

    And as things turned out, in late January this year I headed into Potts Point for my first day as an intern.

    Laura, Ben, Kevin Rudd and JB at discussing WaSH

    As the political engagement intern, I’ve worked on a wide range of tasks. I’ve helped Ben filter through hundreds of emails, as we track what’s going on in Parliament House, and who has been saying what. In March, I went down to Canberra with John (JB) and Ben, and we met with politicians for World Water Day, talking about the importance of water, sanitation and hygiene, and the need to increase our investment in these areas. I’ve spent some days researching climate change policies, other days writing policy outlines, and even spent one memorable day finding the twitter handles of all 150 Federal politicians!

    One of the most amazing experiences of my year at Micah has been being a part of Voices for Justice. As 300 Christians descended on Canberra, all so passionate, informed and excited for change, I clearly saw the impact that advocacy can have. Instead of wanting change just for ourselves, we were there on behalf of others, asking our politicians to take action to help the poor all across the world.

    This year has been incredible – a huge learning curve, but truly unforgettable. It has been an enormous encouragement working with people who are so passionate about seeing change. As part of the internship program we’ve heard from Christians working against poverty in lots of different areas, and their time and wisdom has been really appreciated!  We’ve eaten a lot of dip, drunk a lot of tea, and learnt a lot.

    One of the most valuable things I am going to take away from my internship year, is a deepening understanding of the way that Christians can and should be responding to God’s call to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him. Although it’s sad to be leaving the Micah Challenge team at the end of the year, I’m really looking forward to continuing to be a part of the campaign, because really, Micah Challenge is about so much more than the amazing folks who sit in the office. It’s about Christians, all over Australia, working to halve poverty by 2015, to achieve the MDGs, and to respond to God’s love for the poor in every thing we do.

    Not sure what you're doing next year? Or perhaps thinking about applying for the 2013 Internship? I truly can't recommend it enough! 

    Laura Scott is the 2012 Poiltical Engagement Intern at Micah Challenge