For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been doing internship work for the Thailand-based organization Focus on the Global South. The group’s overall goals include dismantling oppressive economic and political structures and institutions, promote demilitarization and peace-building. Their work is mainly involved at the grassroots level, they hold conferences and meetings with families, farmers, and private citizens who are victims of abusive MNCs, LGUs and the national government.
A project of theirs that I was made familiar with is a 3-day seminar they held in Manila to talk with and convene with affected residences of land grabbing in the Philippines. Some of the mothers and farmers that travelled here came from Visayas and North Luzon. For an afternoon we listened to their stories and grievances. Their situation, although life-altering, they were still able to laugh and smile throughout the day. It was their disposition and outlook that struck me. They were optimistic people. And most importantly a group that was dedicated to their cause and will fight for what is right.
Besides this, I also did some paperwork and research for the organization. I was assigned to do research on the rehabilitation efforts for the past major typhoons (Sendong and Pablo) victims. It was difficult, the internet wasn’t so forthcoming with information. And what data I found was more focused on the financial aspect. Despite this, it was an experience researching for their projects. It helped me connect more with the organization and its goals.
I’m honestly excited for the next couple of weeks. I would never have thought that working for an NGO would be this eye-opening and fulfilling.