Over the summer 2013 Khadim Niang ’15 interned at Conscience International, an NGO in The Gambia. Since its founding in 2003, CI has taken a human rights based approach to address development issues affecting the communities they serve. Donna Kerner caught up with Khadim to learn about his experience.
“This past year, I was highly interested in interning with a human rights organization based on the African continent. After consulting with one of my advisors, we came across an organization called Conscience International Gambia. I conducted some research on this non-governmental organization and became attracted to its commitment in promoting human rights across The Gambia and Africa. One thing that attracted me the most was that Conscience International had its own broad definition of human rights and focused on numerous issues that are not usually identified with these. When we think of human rights we usually focus on abuses that are related to dictatorships or non-democratic regimes but, in Conscience International’s mission, basic rights such as education and healthcare are also elements of human rights.
“My internship with Conscience International Gambia was a great experience. I developed numerous skills in grant writing and lesson planning. The organization also helped me understand the types of work that non-governmental organizations do and how they function as a whole. As a future career goal, I would like to work for a non-governmental organization that promotes human rights on a larger scale similar to Conscience International Gambia. I believe Conscience International has given me hands on experience as a future human rights advocate. Lastly, through the work that I completed with Conscience International I now have a firm understanding on how one can fight for the rights of people through collective engagement.”