Following my passion for human rights advocacy work, I applied to intern at ZimRights for the summer. My desire to gain more experience in litigating for human rights and (virtually) immersing myself in another culture is what drove me to apply for the internship. Luckily, I can say that I have achieved both and greatly enjoyed learning about Zimbabwe’s culture and ZimRights’ mission to achieve the realization of a human rights conscious and democratic society.
My internship centered primarily on ZimRights’ involvement in grassroots communities and the education of human rights. I was curious to know what strategies ZimRights used to empower others and how they incorporate grassroots operations into their mission. Through my internship, it became apparent that educating people on their rights is an effective way to prevent human rights violations and has the added benefit of strengthening their capacity to stand up for themselves if their dignity or rights are being compromised.
One activity that I found to be instrumental in my learning was reading the Constitution of Zimbabwe because I realized how much a country’s history can affect its laws. It was fascinating to read about Zimbabwe’s laws on land distribution, women’s rights, and criminal law and to juxtapose this to the United States’ constitution. Reading Zimbabwe’s Constitution made me realize how different laws can look in every country and how much culture and history can affect its legal system.
I am grateful that I had the opportunity to intern at ZimRights because it nurtured my desire to be a human rights champion and provided me insight into working with people from a different culture and what the legal, political, and social scene is like in Zimbabwe.
Alyssa Price is a student at University of Virginia who was an intern at ZimRights from June to July 2021 i For more information about our work, please visit our website on www.zimrights.org.zw