I arrived in the United States last year unsure and a little concerned. As a Pakistani student of International Affairs, I was fully aware of the recent global turn towards right-wing nationalism. Succeeding events in the United States did little to assuage fears and I ended graduate school wary of what lay ahead.

However, within a cloud of those concerns, there also lay hope.  Within the political turmoil, I saw common Americans rally together to defend their own and those they hoped to call their own. With regression, there also came renewed commitment. A fervent promise to protect the right to security, the right to health, to religion, to free speech and the right to love.

With that hope in mind, I start my internship at NGO CSW by reaffirming my personal commitment to advocating for minority groups around the world. In the upcoming year, I intend to learn from experienced gender and development strategists and engage with global leaders while working at the epicenter of international affairs.

I believe starting my professional career in the United States with NGO CSW, is not only an opportunity, but also a privilege. It enables me to feel safe, to feel included and to feel like I can really make a difference.  I intend to use this experience as a stepping-stone towards working for human rights at the global stage and am very excited about what lies ahead. Here’s to a promising new year!


Saeeda Rizvi