This summer I am interning with Catholic Charities in Washington D.C., working in their Trafficking Victims Assistance Program (TVAP). My work consists of meeting with survivors of human trafficking, and finding services for the survivors, such as attorneys, doctors, and housing that they may need help with. Lots of our work has to do with external partnerships with other organizations. For example, Catholic Charities does not provide legal representation in client pursuance of visas, but we are able to connect our clients with other organizations which can help them for little to no money. Our program is also given an allotted amount of money for each of our clients and in that way we are able to give them gift cards for anything they might need, from food to bedding to transportation.
I chose this internship because I knew I wanted to work with a non-profit, or something related to helping others in their path toward immigrating. In the future I’d like to go to law school and focus on immigration law, or laws regarding refugees. This internship has already shown me that I’d be interested in studying law pertaining to trafficking victims as well. Regardless of where I interned, I knew I wanted to spend my summer doing worthwhile work that served others and made me feel that I was doing something important and meaningful. Through my two weeks of the internship so far, I have not been disappointed. I was nervous that the internship would not end up at all how I had imagined it, but it is better than I ever thought it would be.
In addition to the other work we do in the TVAP, this past week we also attended and participated in a Catholic Charities Retreat, where many departments showed off all they do under the charity’s umbrella. Our table, representing the TVAP, made a jeopardy board with questions about human trafficking in order to educate others on the people the TVAP works to help. I’ve attached an image of one of the questions we asked during the retreat. Some others include what are the two most common forms of human trafficking, and how much does a modern-day human slave cost. The answer to the first is labor exploitation and sex trafficking. The second answer is a mere $90. These questions were meant to open peoples’ eyes to the horrible facts behind human trafficking and the difficult plight of refugees.
I’ve had an amazing two weeks at my internship, and I can’t wait to see what awaits me in the next two months. I have worked 11 days so far, and yet it feels like I’ve been here for years, because there is so much packed into everyday. The gratification I feel from giving my time to this cause, that is why I chose this internship.