We welcome Chelsea Schafer and Sebastian Waldron, who will spend the summer assisting our staff in Chulaimbo. These two are the latest in a long line of Duke Divinity School interns, who enrich Umoja with their creativity and energy.
My ideal future career path would be doing international social work with a religious organization. I feel like working with the Umoja Project, both in the U.S. and in Kenya, will expose me to the broad field of international social work as well as let me approach it from a religious perspective. I hope that this placement would expose me to the planning and theoretical side of ministry and social work as well as let me engage with the population on the ground in enacting the organization’s goals and vision. I think that this exposure would help me in my continual discernment of where in the interplay between ministry and social work I am intended to fall.
I would come to this field placement with some exposure to social work and working with children and youth. I interned one summer with my home county’s department of social services, working mostly with the foster care team. I have some experience assessing physical situations and determining possible solutions for care. I also interned with my home church’s children and youth ministries and feel comfortable teaching and engaging with large groups of children and youth. I feel like I am a strong teacher, an eager learner, and a responsible but flexible person who has a real passion for this mission.
If awarded the opportunity to travel to Kenya and learn from those who are a part of the Umoja Project as well as serve children in Kenya, my hope for this placement would be to gain valuable experience from those familiar with global ministry and interfaith work. As a Master of Divinity student who is not currently on an ordination track, I am very interested in interfaith work, as well as ministry done out in the world serving those in need. I would also of course be very excited to visit a part of the world I have never been to and learn from the people I meet there.
The impact I would hope to have on the people I serve in Kenya would be to help them with whatever they need when I am there. To be a small part in contributing to making their lives a little easier and happier. I also have experience working with elementary aged children in an educational setting. Before I attended Duke, I worked as a teacher-aide in a 3rd grade classroom. The relationships I have made with the children in my class, especially those who came from hard lives have never left me. If I am fortunate enough to learn from and work with children in Kenya I would hope to form the same relationships.