Meet the interns | Natasha Pearce

21 July 2014 | ResolutionPossible

We’re back again with some more blogs from the fabulous people working behind the scenes at Resolution:Possible. Here is the fifth entry for our ‘Meet the interns’ series in which our interns and alumni get to write about their own work experience and education, as well as their time with Resolution:Possible. We have been very fortunate to have people from all sorts of backgrounds working with us, and we wanted to share with you this great variety. We also hope that these blogs may inspire you to follow your own dreams (read previous blogs from BeckyHarriet, Eric and Hannah here).

Natasha Pearce joined Resolution:Possible in June 2014 and is one of the newest interns. She previously interned in the London office of the Centre for Armed Violence Reduction as a researcher. She has volunteered in orphanages in both Ghana and Tanzania and is due to start her Master’s degree at Essex University in September. She will be using her research skills and experience of film studies to contribute to the Resolution:Possible Culture Club.

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At the House of Hope Orphanage in Ghana

I’ve had an interest in Africa for as long as I can remember. Where it stemmed from I’m not entirely sure, although my dad has a love for the continent too, so I suppose he must have been an influence. It was in 2010 that my interest in the continent peaked. In the summer between finishing my A Levels and starting university, I travelled to Kenya and Ghana- and I’ve never looked back.

The saying that you leave a little piece of your heart in Africa was entirely true for me. Whilst the two weeks I spent in Kenya with my family whirled past in a mix of national parks, history and bright colours, Ghana was the country that stole my heart. I was there to volunteer in an orphanage in the Volta Region, which is in the east near the border with Togo. I spent my weekends travelling around the country, visiting Cape Coast, Accra and the Wli Waterfalls, astounded by the vibrancy and friendliness of the people. My weeks were spent in the orphanage where I met 30 children who hugely changed my life. I went back to visit them in 2012 for 2 months, and reconfirmed my love for West Africa even more with a brief trip to Togo while I was there.  In 2011, I volunteered for 6 weeks in Tanzania, living in Dar es Salaam, being regularly defeated by the bus system and spending a week on the beautiful island of Zanzibar.

I was lucky to be able to spend so many summers in Africa, fulfilling my dreams to see the country and learn so much about the differing cultures and histories, but I was still determined to learn as much as I could about the continent. During my undergraduate studies at QMUL, I took as many modules relating to African history and culture as I could. I studied Africa’s early relationship with Europe, the rise of slavery in both the east and west, the civil wars in Mozambique and Angola, the role of cinema in Africa and for my dissertation, the use of sexual violence against the Mau Mau by the British in Kenya.

My volunteering experiences had already helped to give me an idea that the international development sector was where I would like to work and since graduating from university, I have undertaken an internship for 10 months with the Centre for Armed Violence Reduction where I worked as the primary researcher for the Post 2015 Agenda. I was also able to research topics for the AVR Voice blog that I had more of a personal interest in, and so I often looked at child soldiers and sexual violence, and even had my article looking at the impact of corrective rape in South Africa published.

Volunteering with Malaika Kids in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Volunteering with Malaika Kids in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

I was introduced to Resolution:Possible by fellow intern Harriet, after she put an online appeal out for contributors to the DRC series. I wrote a piece for the series looking at the impact of the Rwandan Genocide on the wars in eastern Congo, and became an avid follower of Resolution:Possible simultaneously. Having since gained an internship with Res:Poss I am so excited to be able to combine my love of African history with the topics of development and conflict in modern Africa. I hope that I will be able to use my research skills, and my experience with film studies to make some really valuable contributions to the Res:Poss team and I’m so excited to have this opportunity.

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