Local woman travels to Cambodia
Thursday, May 30, 2013 11:33 am
Airdrie resident Nicole Jones, 22, is one of 16 young adults who has been accepted into an internship with Samaritan’s Purse in partnership with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
Jones, who recently graduated from the University of Ottawa with a bachelor of social science degree majoring in international development, will soon pack her bags and head to Cambodia for seven months as part of her internship.
“I haven’t been to Asia so it’s going to be quite an adventure,” she said.
Jones will be in Cambodia working with an organization called Clear Cambodia, which focuses on installing and monitoring the use of BioSand Water Filters (BSF).
“I will be working with them on implementing household water systems,” Jones said.
BSF are a form of slow sand filter that removes pathogens and suspended solids from water.
According to the Samaritan’s Purse Canadian website, “researchers concluded that households using BSFs experience 47 per cent less diarrheal diseases than households without BSFs.”
Another part of Jones’ role will be to monitor the usage of existing BSF to make sure they are being used effectively and to see how many people are using them.
“It’s really a great experience,” she said of the internship.
She said she is looking forward to being exposed to international development work outside the school setting and to experience a cross-culture working environment.
“I think it really gives me the opportunity to be overseas and gives me the opportunity to be in international work for a long term,” she said, adding the experience will help her affirm what her next career step might be.
“I think there will be a lot of lessons, which will help me decide where my career will go from here or if I should pursue further education,” she said.
Jones said the experience away from her family will be completely different from when she left for university in Ottawa.
“Nothing I’m going to experience will be familiar to them,” she said of sharing her adventures with her family.
She adds a lot of the logistics of the seven-month stint are unknown to her and she isn’t even sure how often she will be able to communicate with her family in Airdrie.
“I don’t think I’m really all that nervous,” she said. “I’m more excited.”
She said she is eager to spend time with the people in Cambodia and find out where she will fit in with them.
“I’m most excited about working with the partner organization (Clear Cambodia) and the local staff to hear their perspective and understanding of what it’s like working with the local community,” she said.
For more information on the Samaritan’s Purse Water Project, visit www.samaritanspurse.ca