Monday, May 28, 2007

New Interns for 2007

Two interns were chosen for 2007. Read the profile of the new interns from Malaysia and Mongolia:

(NB: THENCY GUNASEKARAN from Malaysia is an active blogger, read more about her at:

I’m Thency and by nature I am a very friendly, energetic, passionate, adaptable and practical person. Professionally I enjoy exploring new ideas and concepts, looking for innovative ways to solve any problems or situations that might arise during the course of my work. I like to try different ways of doing things instead of always following what has been tried and tested. I am able to work independently with minimum supervision but at the same time I am also able to work in a team.

My passion lies in human rights issues with a special focus on trafficking of women and children for the purpose of sexual exploitation and forced labor. I consider human trafficking a form of slavery and believe it should be eradicated with utmost vigor. In recent times I have been working with marginalized communities using a rights based approach as well as active participation from the community itself. This has served to remind me of the importance of knowing one’s rights to be able to actually claim them when they are violated. I strongly believe that education and awareness are very vital elements when we talk about rights and democracy. By education I’m not referring to an institutionalized education. I’m actually referring to the process of raising awareness as a whole. One does not need to be highly literate to know one’s rights or to be entitled to one’s rights. A person is entitled to their rights regardless of their status. This is something that I will work on in future. Many people aren’t aware of this and sadly this contributes to their rights being continuously violated.

Where skills are concerned my strength lies in organizing events be it workshops, trainings or others. I am also a competent public speaker who enjoys sharing information with people. I enjoy conducting trainings as well. I take great delight in working with and interacting with people. The human mind is something that continues to fascinate me till today. I have had the opportunity to attend various trainings on topics that range from Gender-based violence, good governance, leadership, professional etiquette, conflict mediation, presentations and public speaking, child sexual abuse, personal safety for children, writers for women’s rights and marketing. All these workshops have helped me to open my thinking and look at things from various perspectives. As for my hobbies, I enjoy reading, listening to and playing music, dancing and meeting people from various backgrounds. These activities serve as a method for me to relax and unwind after working. Everything that I have involved myself in and participated in has served to mould me to be what I am today. My passion and interest to bring about change is a strong drive factor that pushes me to try and do what I can to bring about a better understanding and respect for human rights in my country.

My expectations, objectives, and interests on the human rights internship program.

I first heard about the May 18 Human Rights Internship Program last year. At that time the program and learning experience it had to offer intrigued me. Unfortunately I couldn’t apply for it then. A year down the road, my interest in the program has increased as during this past one year, I have had the opportunity to read, listen and learn a little bit about the foundation, its purpose and aims as well as the role it plays in promoting human rights and democracy.

I have been involved in voluntary work since 2003 only. Although my interest and passion has always revolved around issues affecting humans, justice and equality, I only got the opportunity to actively do something constructive when I entered university. Since my university days I’ve been actively involved with local Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – mainly with groups working on women’s rights, child’s rights and youth development.

I’ve been an active member of AIESEC, a global youth run organization that aims to foster peace and understanding via developing the potential of young people, sensitizing them towards social issues and providing them with the opportunity to experience and understand various cultures. I believe that peace can only be achieved when humans learn to accept each other without prejudice. My time in AIESEC exposed me to the reality that many young people are actually not aware of what’s happening around them, in the world. Thus I made it one of my goals to incorporate a stronger presence of political and social issues within my organizations’ activities and projects. I took up the role of the person in charge of member development. This enabled me to plan my members learning. I utilized this platform to reach out to the youth in my university to raise awareness about important issues like human rights, gender issues, child’s rights, women’s rights, HIV/AIDS, globalization, the state of the indigenous people and the importance of cultural awareness and sensitivity.
At the same time, my volunteer work with the local NGO’s exposed me to the harsh realities of the human rights and political scenario in Malaysia. I realized all was not well. This exposure has helped shape and challenge my thoughts and viewpoint. I became convinced that working for human rights is something that I wanted to do. Hence my decision to work with Empower right after my graduation in 2006. Working with Empower has given me the opportunity to experience working at the grassroots level with marginalized communities as well as doing work like administrative tasks, organizational tasks, report writing, training and so on. Empower uses the rights based approach in our training and project. This has enabled me to familiarize myself with instruments like the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Convention on the Elimination on All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, The Universal
Human Rights Declaration and this has in turn reinforced my believe that education and awareness about the importance and the value of freedom and rights is a vital element in ensuring that a person’s right is upheld. I strongly believe that it is extremely important for society to be aware that a lot of things that they take for granted or struggle for is in actual fact a basic right.

One of the main reasons for my interest in the internship program is that having read about the May 18 Uprising incident, having met and spoken to some Koreans, I realized that there is a sense of patriotism and pride that they exude when they speak about their country’s struggle for democracy. It struck me that these are people who seem to truly appreciate democracy and their freedom. This is something, sadly not very apparent amongst the Malaysian youth I’ve met. Not many youth seem to realize that the price for democracy and freedom has been great… doesn’t come easy.

I believe that I can learn a lot from this internship. I would like to know what is it that makes the Koreans so aware of the importance of democracy, freedom and the up-keeping of human rights in a nations survival and growth. I’d like to bring that knowledge to share with the youth of my country as I believe that the youth play a crucial role in the quest for freedom.

My objectives for applying for this internship would be to gain more exposure and knowledge about the Korean struggle for democracy. I’d like to know about the history of the struggle and what is it that continues to drive the people to strive to maintain democracy and respect human rights. I would also like to learn and observe how Korean NGOs work, the approach that they use when handling human rights issues. I would also like to bring back what I would learn in Korea to share with my fellow activists in Malaysia. I believe that the theoretical knowledge as well as the practical experience I would gain from this internship will prove to be invaluable in my quest to promote and uphold human rights.

My expectations towards this internship would be to firstly, be able to learn in depth about the Korean struggle for democracy and to appreciate the sacrifices that have been made to achieve democracy and uphold human right. I would like to learn and listen to the people themselves about their experiences, and how even after such a devastating incident like the Uprising, the people have managed to rise again and move on with life.

Secondly, I hope to experience a challenging internship where I will be able to learn new skills and knowledge, stimulate and challenge my mind and way of thinking. At the same time, I would also like to contribute to the May 18 Foundation in any way that I might be able to. Networking with the people from the foundation and the other interns would also be something I hope to do as well.

Last but not the least, I would like to experience the Korean culture. The best way to learn about people is to actually live amongst them, speak to them, learn their language, experience their culture and to be open to learning experiences. My exposure through my reading as well as interacting with Korean friends has deepened my interest in Korea and her culture as a whole.

With this, I sincerely hope that I will be given the opportunity to participate in this internship program as I believe it will be a fulfilling and beneficial experience for both sides. I hope to be able to interact and engage with activists from Korea and others as well in order to learn from them as well as to share my experiences.


I started my work experience as lawyer consultant for medical company which had a special focus on providing medical service for disadvantaged group of people such as retired, unemployed and disabled who can not afford quality service in private hospitals. As lawyer I was often involved in getting their health and social insurance. This experience gives me deep understanding what does mean the right to health, how this right needs to be accessible, affordable for all, how this need to be regulated by state policies and programmmes. My concern of the human rights situation made me to work in the Centre for Human Rights and Devlopment, NGO working actively in Mongolia on protection and promotion of human rights. In CHRD I work as assistant on the “Program for combating against human trafficking in Mongolia”. Our program has been working in following areas

- Prevention, protection and prosecution of human trafficking crime,
- Victimization, protecting victims
- Ensuring effective prosecution and enforcement of laws.

Also, I am involved as an assistant of coordination on law reform working group which aims to amend criminal code article 113 under the provision “Human buying and human selling”. I was involved in case analysis, comparative studies of legal provisions in different countries on trafficking. I am also responsible for coordination and preparation of logistics in organizing trainings for police officers at grassroots level from districts police offices of urban area and Ulaanbaatar, which was held from August to December, 2006

I also coordinated and prepared logistical issues for working meeting on amending and changing the Advertisement Law which is held on 18th January, 2007. Working as a assistant on coordinating advocates working group where protecting victims of human trafficking crime. I am friendly, easy for communication, like singing and playing on guitar.

Last seven months I have been working on human rights field. Everyday, in my work place I listen and get knowledge on problems and issues related to violation of human rights in my country and other countries, too. Therefore, I think that issues about human rights, democracy and peace are not only our country issues, it is also relevant and connecting to all countries and earth, as well . Hence, every countries and people need to join or work together to protect, combat for and promote human rights, democracy and peace. From these reasons I am applying for human rights internship to the May 18 Foundation in Gwangui, South Korea. Because I have goals where I want to learn and improve my skills and knowledge by referred below. These are:
- Learn and exchange information about experiences, skills and present condition of human rights on South Korea and other countries from friends who will join to this internship.
- Build good communications among human rights defenders through sharing news or information
- Introduce to participants about present human rights condition of Mongolia.

Finally, by involving in this program I will improve my knowledge on human rights, democracy and peace and improve my working skills at regional level. Also, I want to make a network among civil societies and develop partnership work with NGOs and people who are protecting human rights.

No comments: