Internship experience with A Drop in the Ocean

In the spring of 2021, master’s student in political science Ida Marlene Henriksen (25) interned with A Drop it the Ocean. In this blog post, she shares her internship experience in the department of communications and fundraising.

Foto/Photo: Privat/Private

It has been an educational and rewarding six months with A Drop in the Ocean. I have gained insight into a completely unique humanitarian organisation that has accomplished a lot, despite its small size. With a grassroots mentality and great voluntary commitment, the organisation is flexible and adapts to the needs of residents in refugee camps. I like that the organisation organises activities where refugees and other migrants can develop their skills for future work participation and further education, and that asylum seekers themselves can volunteer for A Drop in the Ocean alongside the international volunteer field workers.

I am proud to intern for a humanitarian organisation that is not afraid to raise their voice in political debates. Although A Drop in the Ocean has no political affiliation, it is important to support political measures aimed at strengthening the security situation for displaced persons. As an intern, I have mainly worked with political advocacy and communications. This has been right up my alley as a political science student.

I am interested in how politicians portray the situation for refugees and other migrants, and what arguments they use to legitimise their political actions. There is a big gap between what politicians say they stand for and what they actually do. Our own government claims that Norway is the best at helping people forced to flee. At the same time, they are treating asylum seekers suspiciously when claiming that they are not “real refugees”. This creates a simplified and inadequate picture of the refugee situation and the migration processes that take place via the irregular travel routes to Europe.

Refugees and other migrants are being deprived of their voice and opportunity to fight for their rights. The politics pursued by Europe mean that refugees are physically disappearing from our borders, the media spotlight, and our everyday conversations. By being informed and supporting policies that ensure justice and equality for all migrants, we can help give displaced persons a voice. As part of this struggle, we need to take a critical look at the policies pursued in Norway and in Europe. I will continue this work through writing my master thesis this autumn and through further work for A Drop in the Ocean as an assistant.

I am incredibly grateful for my internship and the opportunity to apply the knowledge from my studies in a practical manner. I encourage anyone who wants to contribute to A Drop in the Ocean to get involved. Be a Drop and fight for the rights of refugees and other migrants. We must act, together we can make a difference.