I was an intern at Children in Crossfire in Development Education and I can say with certainty that it has been one of the most positive and formative experiences I have ever had, and I was very sad to leave. Before coming to Children in Crossfire I had never been in an office environment and I always pictured them in a somewhat negative light, with hours in front of a computer screen and formal and somewhat awkward conversation. This was not my experience at all.
The first time that I met Donna, my supervisor, she greeted me with a hug, and that first interaction was indicative of the overarching warmth and hospitality that I was shown while at Children in Crossfire. I was only there for a few weeks but so many people took time to talk and learn about me, and I was made so, so many wonderful cups of tea. People were very willing to bring me along when they went off to lunch, or to a meeting off campus. I was able to ask questions and see more areas of the work because of their willingness to include me in their work.
One of the most formative things that I was able to help with was the launch of TIDAL: Educating the Heart. I attended the first two teacher training sessions in Derry and Dublin and it was such a privilege to see and participate in the programme. I had not seriously considered going into teaching or the education sector until my internship at Children in Crossfire. However, the love and deep concern that these teachers had for their students was obvious and very moving. Donna, Caroline, and Dee are deeply committed to education and outreach to further formation of young people’s hearts for peace and compassion. I am fully convinced that education is vital, and I can see myself in such work in the future.
Children in Crossfire focuses on compassion and viewing the world through a loving lens, and the people I met absolutely live
this. There are many ways to love and to be compassionate. I felt surrounded by love and compassion while I was at Children in Crossfire. An important part of learning compassion is seeing and experiencing compassion and I saw it every day and in every interaction. Whether it was through hospitality, deep listening, or general investment in my life, the concern and care that I was shown has and will continue to help me strive to be the most compassionate and caring version of myself.