By Charles Fairbank: Former Intern at BABSEACLE
As a Canadian student doing an academic year abroad at Chiang Mai University, I was given the opportunity to do a placement with BABSEACLE. For our second semesters we have to do a placement with an organization and write a research report linked to it. Though I am still in my third year of undergraduate studies, I have been debating going to law school after my undergraduate degree. As BABSEACLE deals with legal education and social justice, I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity and experience.
As an intern at BABSEACLE I have participated in many activities. The highlights include helping with awareness raising and fundraising in the 4th Trio for Justice event, teaching community legal education (CLE) lesson plans to law students at the University of Phayao with QUT students and assisting with a funding proposal. I have also been volunteering by teaching English at Wat Sai Moon (Myanmar temple) and to a colleague at BABSEACLE.
It was through BABSEACLE that I got my first experiences teaching. I found it an extremely nerve wracking experience, which I did not expect due to my experience with public speaking and theatre. It also gave me a whole new appreciation for everything teachers do and the amount of preparation involved in a single lesson.
Working with BABSEACLE really changed my perspectives on a lot of things. One is that the word “Impossible” is really just a word. The amount of times while working together on a project I thought we would not be able to do it, only to complete it successfully.
Before I always used to prefer working by myself, but BABSEACLE is filled with such talented, nice and hardworking people that it really changed my perspective. Not only are the finished products stronger by everyone contributing their time, effort and ideas, it pushes you to do a better job. Sometimes we become too easy on ourselves but you cannot let your team down when they depend on you.
The cause of educating marginalized people about the law, their rights and how to access their legal rights is a very empowering process as you are giving power to the people and not simply telling them what to do. It is really cool being able to help people and make a difference.
The longer I have stayed here, the more little by little, I begin to understand the massive impact BABSEACLE has in helping people. And to have been part of BABSEACLE has been a great privilege. My time with BABSEACLE has humbled me, pushed me and made me better person for it. I know when I leave my placement in April, I will never forget the memories and friendships and skills I have gained through interning here.