International forum

International forum

international-forum.png

TWU celebrates its first fully-funded internship.

The end of last month marked the celebration of Trinity West­ern University’s first fully-funded international in­ternship, hosted on January 31 in the Northwest Auditorium. The event included an international forum, themed, “Stepping into Development: Living & Working Abroad.” Notable participants included Murray MacTa­vish, Associate Professor of Leader­ship and International Development and Director of TWU’s MBA program, among other titles; director of Hungry for Life International Dave Blundell, MA in Non-Profit Leadership; and the Honorable Imbenzi George himself, Consul General to Kenya.

Recent alumna Caitlin Aleman, an intern working with internation­ally-funded internship in East Africa, also participated in the debate. Ale­man’s internship goals include most prominently, economic development focused on Kenya’s most highly pop­ulated, impoverished areas; and on rural communities for holistic devel­opment.

The first question of the evening rang: “Might international communi­ties do more harm than good?”

Handling the first affirmative, Blundell served a gut shot, display­ing two water bottles from springs in Kenya. One was clear; one was a tar­nished, hardly translucent, receptacle which contained water that George, as a child, watched people drink. He conceded: “I see as much failed proj­ects as successful ones; but if these conferences keep children drinking this kind of water, is it not more ef­fectual to help?” Why should inter­national boundaries “automatically” make assistance irrelevant?

Looking past the water, George took the first negative, by pointing out that many international aid groups, over the past 80 years, have been com­posed of British and North American investors that arrive and then leave, thinking they have solved a problem. In reality, that has only increased the locals’ dependency on their tempo­rary help. More tough punches came with stats: George stated that the is­sue isn’t about money. The money is there; one problem is that 60% of money in Kenya (totaling $4.5 million annually) goes out to foreign banks.

MacTavish came up with the sec­ond affirmative, divulging that there are multiple dimensions of poverty; these NGO’s see “not just lack of re­sources, but lack of means.” It is not enough to do holistic development out of humanitarian motivation; what needs to change—and has changed already—is building local account­ability, so that, for example, large sums of money need not leave the country. The mandate is simply to be “a catalyst that can lead to its own self-creation” in local communities.

As the debate continued Ale­man also weighed in and cited HODI (Hands-On International Develop­ment) as a good example. (HODI was previously described by George as be­ing a welcome presence.) She lauded is­

the grassroots, intimate level of syn­ergism and awareness of the issues; “It’s a relationship: being part of the community”.

As the evening closed, a reflection that George opened with continued to resonate throughout the evening: “When I think of TWU, I see an insti­tution dedicated to improvement…of people globally.”[custom_field limit="0" between=", " /]

What the Hill?

What the Hill?

[spaces] launch party

[spaces] launch party