“A lot of them successfully do go on and have a successful life. But just the amount of violence they have seen… And just trying to get back to civilian life is a lot for a lot of them. They had never been to university, never knew anybody who went to school. So, I took them out to do a college tour in Medellin. One of the students fell in love with the nursing department. Because she had been a nurse out in the field, out in “el monte”, so she had some basic knowledge. And now she’s studying nursing. She’s doing well for herself. That was one of the bigger things in my whole experience.
I’ve been all over the place, worked in a lot of places, but definitely Columbia… that’s what got me to Geneva, that’s what got me interested in development. And it’s funny the other day at my school, Juan Manuel Santos, who won the 2016 Nobel Peace prize for the peace accords in Columbia, came to my school and gave a speech about the peace accords. And I was just like “full circle !” I was so happy to hear him talk. And during my first month in Geneva !
I didn’t want to stay in that bubble of the United States. I’m from New York but it’s a bubble. I could’ve went to study to Georgetown Town, or American in DC. A lot of people were like “but why would you leave NY or DC ?” And it’s because I’m from here. I don’t want to study the world from the viewpoint of the US, always looking out. I wanted not to look at the States from inside out, but to look from the outside-in.”
(Les Grottes | original English)