Interview with the new APRRN Intern: Mahalia Kahsay
Q: Could you tell me about your background and how you became interested in refugee and migration issues?
A: Sure, I am from Chicago, IL, although I have been living in Thailand for the past year, working as an English Teacher at Chiang Mai University. I graduated with a B.S. in Political Science and Social Policy from Northwestern University in 2014, and I first developed an interest in migration and refugee issues while working at the Center for Forced Migration Studies and then at an immigration law firm. I became specifically interested in Southeast Asia during a summer of resettlement work with refugees from Myanmar and Thailand.
Q: What made you interested in working with APRRN?
A: After college, I knew that I wanted to go abroad and work in a country like Thailand, where I could gain firsthand experience working on the issues I had studied. I learned about APRRN through a former professor, and I was immediately interested because of APRRN’s status as a network. I was very interested in the idea of a network that supported local organizations working on issues in their own communities.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about working with APRRN?
A: First, the potential for personal growth and learning seems incredible at APRRN—with so many working groups, short courses, and members across all of Asia, there are so many people, working on dozens of wonderful projects to learn from—which is incredibly exciting! I am also looking forward to being able to contribute to the improvement of refugee outcomes in a tangible way, through the projects APRRN works on with its partners.