Gabriel Vockel - "At the end of it, I would like to come up with solutions adopting a holistic approach”
It was a dream come true for the 107 interns from eleven countries to come to India to work on various field projects for the UNICEF over a ten week period. They attended a four-day orientation programme at Manesar, near Delhi, before being assigned to their projects within the ten UNICEF centres in India.
They were then formed into groups of four and sent off to various UNICEF centres in India, where they will be gathering data on their respective projects such as poverty, child labour, HIV, and impact of decentralization.
This is the first of our series on ‘Meet the interns’. Ten randomly selected interns will be profiled over the coming weeks.
Gabriel Vockel: An Indian at heart already
Resident of: Germany
Academic pursuit: pursuing a Masters programme in Diplomacy and International Law at Coventry in UK
Field posting: Pune, Maharashtra
Field subject: Child Rights
Gabriel Vockel had slipped into Indian gear from Day One at the UNICEF workshop in Manesar. A resident of Muenster in Germany, the soft-spoken 26-year-old is now pursuing a Masters programme in Diplomacy and International Law at Coventry in United Kingdom.
Wearing a cotton kurta and greeting Indians with a traditional namaste, Gabriel won many hearts. He is honest when he says what he has studied in Germany and England as theory will be very different when it comes to putting it into practice when he goes to the field areas under the guidance of CEHMAT in Pune.
“India is fascinating. I want to try how my knowledge would work in a new area, and I am aware of the challenges. The orientation programme in Manesar was rich and very informative. I see a huge challenge when I look at the case studies assigned to me in Pune,” says Vockel.
His work on the field will involve looking into rights of children in vulnerable groups and how international laws can be applied. “I would see whether the international laws I have studied can be implemented at all in Pune and what are the obstacles to it from the local people,” says Vockel.
He knows interacting with local people will not be easy, but that’s a challenge he wants to take head on despite the barriers. “At the end of it, I would like to come up with solutions adopting a holistic approach,” says Vockel.
Ryusuke Yamachika - “Till now, I was helped by other people, but this time I think I am going to help other people.”
Ryusuke Yamachika: Man from Land of the Rising Sun
Resident of: Japan
Academic pursuit: Masters in International Studies, USA
Field posting: Patna, Bihar
Field subject: Sanitation
Ryusuke Yamachika is from Tokyo, but has now made Washington DC his home. Having pursued a degree programme in history and philosophy of Western countries, he moved to the US to pursue his Masters in
He values the opportunity to work as an intern with the UNICEF, and says enthusiastically: “Till now, I was helped by other people, but this time I think I am going to help other people.”
After four days of virtual classroom sessions at Manesar, and now on his way to the field areas in Patna (Bihar), Yamachika is not bothered by what others have told him about Bihar in general. “I have heard Bihar is one of the worst areas in India, but that doesn’t scare me. I see this as a great opportunity for me to research and I am sure the case study will be of help in other areas as well,” says Yamachika.
He enjoyed being with the 100 interns in Manesar, describing the experience as a first step in getting to know the brains from world over. Yamachika’s area of study in Bihar will be sanitation, something which the state lacks.
Yamachika will be working with the Asian Development Research Institute, and is confident that at the end of the ten-week assignment he would have gained a lot. “Studying theory is one thing, but getting field exposure is another. I want to be involved with international development and would like to come back to India,” he says.
The Taj Mahal does fascinate him, but there will be no time for tourism. But, as he says in his own words: “There will be another chance.”