Flo Carson

Flo Carson - Social Anthropologist, studying International Development at Sciences Po, Paris. I am slightly obsessed by gender, politics, media, human rights and global health. I've worked in Asia, Africa and Europe and keen to explore more of the world we live in. Take a look at my Twitter & Tumblr for my most recent posts. tly

Monday, 27 January 2014

Early internship vibes

Since having had some experience working for NGOs and charities abroad, I had assumed I knew what to expect from my time with Apne Aap. But, I don't know why I have not conceded to the reality that when abroad, especially in India, you must always expect the unexpected. As a result, my first week at the charity has been a bit of a shock.

I had heard about the organisation a couple of years ago, as I sat writing my dissertation and listening to Radio 4. So when I realised they had a regular internship scheme I was desperate to be involved. Although, now I'm here, I realise this is definitely not an internship scheme. I'm not quite sure what it actually is yet, apart from being a test of my ability to use my own initiative and self management.

Anyway, more generally the organisation is really interesting and I do enormously value what they do. Their founder, Ruchira Gupta, started up as a journalist and found herself making a documentary about women who have been trafficked from rural villages into prostitution in Mumbai. The office has dozens of trophies and certificates up, celebrating their successes and progress. Apne Aap works to empower women, girls who are at-risk, prostitutes in red light areas, and the survivors who have managed to pull themselves out of this situation. They have a  Three L's approach to how they can support these women - Legal empowerment, Learning & Livelihoods; a positive, typically holistic way of trying to attack the multitude of problems related to human trafficking.

Alongside myself, there are five other people who don't really know what they are meant to be doing (read  as: interns); A range of interesting women from Australia and the US, all sharing a liberal feminist view point (At least three read Jezebel.com). Unfortunately, I was the last to start with the organisation, and also the last to find out that the Programmes department I was supposed to be working for had closed. That's right, all the staff have left, the entire department no longer exists; leaving me with no official manager and no genuine purpose. 

Over the last few days of being in the Apne Aap office, my head has been filled with theoretical issues, philosophical debates and anthropological questions about the situation of trafficking and prostitution in Delhi and India more broadly. Whilst I haven't been given any actual work to do as an intern, I have had the chance to discuss and learn so much about a situation I knew very little about before (some of which I will write proper blog posts about in the future).  

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