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ISJC looks around the world for its next young interns

ISJC looks around the world for its next young interns

ISJC looks around the world for its next young interns

14 October 2021

Australian Salvationists Casey O’Brien Machado (centre) and Amanda Merrett (right) with Jillian Peddle, from the Canada and Bermuda Territory, in the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York. All three have been interns with The Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission.

By Darryl Whitecross

The Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission (ISJC) is looking for a full-time voluntary intern to be part of its modern slavery and human trafficking response department next year.

ISJC Director Colonel Janet Munn said the intern would need to be a “young energetic, passionate Salvationist” working closely with the international coordinator and a global team to support and strengthen the Army’s position around slavery and trafficking.

ISJC Internship Program Trainer Major Victoria Edmonds, who has been part of the New York-based ISJC team since it began in 2007, said the program was designed to prepare Salvationists between the ages of 23 and 30 for ministry in social justice with an emphasis on areas such as research and resource development, digital communication and modern slavery and human trafficking response.

Since the program’s inception in 2007, the ISJC has had 27 interns who have come from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, India, Kenya, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, and Zambia.

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Australians who have been part of the program include Caitlin Hallett, Amanda Merrett and Casey O’Brien Machado. Amanda is now the Chair of the Australia Territory Moral and Social Issues Council (MASIC) and Casey is the Alternate Chair.

Casey, who was the Territorial Social Justice Coordinator in the former Australia Eastern Territory, also serves on the International Moral and Social Issues Council (IMASIC) and is an Australia Territory policy and social justice advisor.

Caitlin, a qualified social worker, was awarded the 2019 Eva Burrows Scholarship for social justice and human rights advocacy to assist her studies into a Masters of Addictive Behaviours.

For Amanda and Casey, it has been a decade since they moved to New York City for their internships.

“As I reflect, I can see how the experience shaped me and how it provided a strong foundation for future work both within and outside The Salvation Army,” Amanda said. “It was where I began to learn about women’s experiences of poverty and the role that gender plays in impacting people’s livelihoods.

“Through the various groups I was involved with through the United Nations NGO (non-government organisations) community, I also started to understand the strong role that faith can play in mobilising communities to seek justice with the marginalised.

“When I look back on my time at the ISJC I do so with much fondness for the people I met and the experiences I had. I made lifelong friends, experienced The Salvation Army internationally and engaged with the UN.

Casey said her experience was similar, being an “amazing opportunity” to see first-hand the workings of the UN and “an incredible opportunity” to better understand how her qualifications, passions and skills intertwined with her ministry in the Army. “I am thankful that God has used all of those learnings in my work and ministry since,” Casey said.

Amanda said she would recommend the internship for Salvationists seeking to understand the global Church and its calling in coming alongside people who experienced injustice: “They will come away with a renewed sense of what their role in God’s Kingdom is.”

Victoria said every intern learned the theological principles that underpinned the Army’s commitment to social justice and how to apply them. She said interns worked in a “focused area” but met regularly with ISJC staff for reflection and skills training and took part in weekly prayer meetings with the ISJC team.

“Interns have certainly been an asset to the ISJC with their research projects and their opportunities to be part of UN committees,” Victoria said. “They have been able to take what they have learned back to their own territories and countries and implement some of their project.”

A potential intern needs to be a committed and uniformed Salvationist with an active role in corps life, academically qualified (preferably with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent) and prepared to work for up to 12 months on a voluntary basis for a basic monthly living allowance.

Applications close on 15 October. For full details about the role, click here and to apply, click here

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