Name: WOO Ngoi Sum Natalie
Master of Social Science in Clinical Psychology
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Position: Poverty, Equity & Governance Team (LGBT Portfolio) Intern at UNDP China
Duration: September 2016-June 2017 (9 months)
Sponsorship: United Nations Peace and Development Foundation
Working on human rights issues in the United Nations (UN) has always been my aspiration. I still vividly remember the moment I received the internship offer from UNDP China after all the interview stages – my excitement was beyond words. Here I must express my gratitude to the Peace and Development Foundation (PDF) – my amazing internship in the UN would not have been possible without PDF’s generous support.
My journey embarked on a sunny Monday Morning. With reference to the map, I approached the UNDP China office with accelerated heartbeat and sweating. I was both ecstatic and nervous about what I will encounter next. How would a UN office look like? I guessed it would be a skyscraper or a huge complex shining in modern silver colour. Yet, what gradually came under my sight was completely different – the office was a homey European style complex built from red brick. At that moment, I realized that my journey would beyond all my expectations and imaginations.
My assignment was to support UNDP China’s equity work, particularly the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) portfolio of the Poverty, Equity and Governance Team. Although my assignment was very specialized, my involvement was never limited. The team had treated me and other interns as its integral part and allowed us to involve in most of its work. On one hand, I have been supporting “Being LGBTI in Asia” – a regional LGBT programme jointly-organized with other UN country offices (e.g. Thailand). I was engaged in all areas of this large-scaled progamme – from its development, administration, implementation, monitoring to evaluation. I had the chance to work with other UN agencies, international NGOs and community organizations, such as WHO and USAIDS to name a few. On the other hand, I also participated in the team’s day-to-day operations, including project discussions and team meetings which we, as interns, would be equally invited to voice out our thoughts.
But work was only a part of the wonderfulness here. What was more amazing was my encounter with people who shared similar passion and vision. We might have pursued our aspirations in different ways, yet what united us was that we all wanted to make the world a better place. I finally understood that I was never walking alone on the path of realizing my dream.
These months passed as fast as a blink. To me, this internship in the UN is not a mere work experience or a few lines on my résumé, but a milestone which recorded my first step in realizing my aspirations and fueled me to move forward.