By: Ethan Taylor Emerge Lanka Intern
These last few months have certainly been eye-opening. I’ve experienced some of the most beautiful sights imaginable, along with some not-so-beautiful sights. I’ve heard many success stories, and stories that are still in the process of becoming success stories. I probably will not be able to understand the impact of this summer on my development as a person until after I have returned to the States; being able to measure the impact of an experience is almost impossible when you’re still emotionally enveloped in the situation. All I know right now is this: working with Emerge and seeing firsthand the courage of the girls living in the shelters we visit – not to mention the courage shown by the Emerge staff – has given me the resolution to carry on with whatever scary situations I will encounter in life, no matter how daunting they may be.
As I prepare to end my internship with Emerge, I begin to doubt whether I have accomplished enough, whether I have done enough good for the organization. In the last nine weeks, I have grown very fond of my task of assisting with the implementation of an Emerge Reintegration Program. Throughout my time in Sri Lanka, I have been well aware of the importance of reintegration efforts. The participants of the program already benefit greatly from continued support even after they leave the shelters, but to formalize that assistance would make all the difference for the foundation itself and for the participants. Meeting with various NGOs throughout Colombo to help formalize the program has given me hope that, whereas the problem of domestic abuse is widespread in Sri Lanka and elsewhere, at least Emerge is not alone in its mission to heal. There are other organizations out there to help, and I applaud them all as well. Of course, I applaud the staff and interns of Emerge Lanka Foundation and Emerge Global for dedicating so much of their time and effort to this great cause. I am proud to have been part of the team.