Meet the SI NGO CSW/New York Interns for 2017/18

Each year, NGO CSW/NY has between five and eight interns to help facilitate the mission of the Committee to achieve gender equality, and facilitate the smooth running of the actual Commission.  Soroptimist International sponsors the internship programme.

Here, we get to know a little about the interns for 2017/2018. Read the blogs written so far by this years interns at NGO CSW/NY

Saeeda Rizvi

Saeeda is a graduate from the University of Chicago, where she studied International Relations with a focus on human rights protection and political security. Originally from Pakistan, she has worked with various NGOs and government organisations in South Asia on issues related to human rights and women empowerment. Saeeda hopes to continue advocating for minority groups in South Asia and intends to work on research related to gender and political conflict. Fluent in Urdu and passionate about food, Saeeda is excited about exploring the multicultural realm of New York City.

Sunayana Limbu

Growing up as an indigenous girl during the civil war era of Nepal, Sunayana witnessed gross human rights violations, especially against women. Moving to the United States when she was 13 years old, Sunayana has since been a dedicated human rights and women’s rights advocate. She has had a history of work experience at organisations from the United Nations to Amnesty International USA and is a senior, currently majoring in International Criminal Justice and minoring in Public Administration at CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Her passion for gender equality and human rights led her to join NGO CSW NY as an Intern. In addition to that, she also works as an Editorial Associate at Qrius (The Indian Economist), where she edits high-quality commentary and scholarly articles in the categories of Politics, Policy, Economics, World and Culture. In order to develop her global competency skills, Sunayana studied Conflict Transformation at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland. She is also the New York Representative of Friends of Women Protection Center Nepal. Sunayana has served as a Youth Delegate at the Youth Assembly of UN and has taught English to economically disadvantaged women, both in New York City and Nepal. She was a Direct Response Intern at Amnesty International, a Co-Director of Communications and Media at TEDxCUNY and an Investigative Intern at US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at New York District Office. Sunayana pursues a career in global peacebuilding, quality education and gender equality. She speaks fluent Nepalese, Hindi, Urdu, conversational French and basic Hangul.

Andre McDonald

Andre is a graduate student at Columbia University, School of Continuing Education. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution with a dual concentration in Ombuds Practice and Mediation. Receiving a certificate in International Law and Justice from the Fordham School of Law he is a Leitner Center Fellow. During his fellowship, he analysed human rights issues facing groups vulnerable to human rights abuses such as women and children, the LGBTQ community and persons with disabilities. Since his fellowship, Andre has decided to further his education by obtaining more certificates which encompass sexual and reproductive health and global humanitarism to name a few. Currently, Andre is on the Young Professionals Board of ECPAT-USA where he is helping to trail-blaze the efforts to end the war against women and children in trafficking. Andre’s human rights studies have included international fieldwork completed in both India and Cuba. He investigated the Sonagachi Red Light District in Kolkata, India and interviewed the survivors of sex trafficking. The primary focus of the study was the battle between the criminalisation of, versus decriminalisation of sex work.  In Cuba, he analysed the international instructions and mechanisms utilised to protect economic, social, and cultural rights. Andre has a special interest in gender and the LGBTQ community. In his utopian world women would not be considered inferior to men and the entire LGBTQ community would have equal rights. Based in New York, New York, Andre is dedicated to helping individuals overcome adversity in their lives.

Elise Bragard

Elise is originally from Manchester, England and is pursuing her MA in Women’s and Gender Studies at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her research interests include the psychology and sociology of girlhood, global girls’ rights, and girls’ sexuality. Elise intends to pursue a career as a scholar-activist and is excited to be joining the Working Group on Girls while interning at NGO CSW/NY. Elise was formerly a public school theatre teacher in Massachusetts and received her Master’s in Theatre Education at Emerson College, Boston. She is also the Assistant Director at a residential summer camp where she is responsible for programming that promotes leadership, creativity, community, and empathy among children and teenagers. She has helped to develop girls’ leadership camps at ASAPROSAR, a rural health organisation in El Salvador which focuses on school dropout prevention and child labour eradication. Elise is passionate about musical theatre, food, travelling, and she also speaks Spanish.

Alexandra Lukamba

Alexandra is a Congolese woman who recently graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relation and Global Affairs, Spanish, and Political Science. Her passion for changing the perception of the African woman has led her to be part of a small NGO in the Democratic Republic of Congo named Soeur, Leve Toi; where she helps with the personal development of young women and fundraises for their meritocracy scholarships. Due to her passion for different cultures, Alexandra speaks four languages (French, Lingala, English, and Spanish), which have helped her volunteer for organisations such as Operation Smile. She aspires to pursue her passion for the development of women by bettering the education system in the DRC. Therefore, she started her internship with NGO CSW/NY in September 2017, as a first step to acquiring experience in the field she intends to continue.

Ching-Kang Wang (Ken)

Ken was originally from Taipei, Taiwan. He moved to New York City in 2016 to pursue an MA degree in Women’s and Gender Studies from the Graduate Center, City University of New York, with an expected graduation date of May 2018. He has a background in journalism and English and worked as a reporter for several media companies in Taiwan. As a feminist and LGBTQ right advocate, Ken’s primary interest is on gay rights and gender equality education. He expects, by working in NGO CSW/NY, to expose himself to issues effecting women and girls, and later expand to more groups of people who seek equality and justice. Eventually, he will contribute himself to the advocacy of gender equality and gay rights in Taiwan. He also enjoys reading, writing and walking in New York City.

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