Grateful for the opportunity of working for a global fellowship of the churches, the two new interns at the World Council of Churches (WCC) aspire to use their personal and professional experiences from Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the WCC’s work on gender justice and health issues.
The WCC interns are Olga Tshiwewe from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Bethel Mhone from Malawi. Sponsored by the United Methodist Church's General Board of Global Ministries, these two interns will be based at the WCC headquarters in Geneva for the next 18 months.
Tshiwewe, 25, who will be working for the WCC programme for Women in Church and Society, holds experience in working for women’s issues in the DRC. “I was sensitive to women’s issues even as a child,” she said. “My observation of women being faced with violence in eastern part of the DRC is something that inspires me to work for the cause of gender justice both at the local and global level,” Tshiwewe added.
Tshiwewe comes from the United Methodist Church in Congo. She was trained to do advocacy work for social and gender justice during her internship with the General Board of Church and Society in Washington DC, in the United States.
Tshiwewe hopes to use her “creativity and interest in gender justice”, especially in initiatives such as “Thursdays in Black” which, through the simple gesture of wearing black on Thursdays, promotes an end to violence against women.
Mhone, 23, from the United Methodist Church in Malawi, expressed her excitement at joining the WCC Health and Healing programme.
Mhone has graduated in health service management from the Africa University in Zimbabwe. She calls health and healing a very significant area for the work of the churches. “It is my wish to expand my understanding on health issues. To do this, I hope I can use my time at the WCC to gain more valuable knowledge and use it when I return home,” Mhone said.
Both WCC interns feel that being at the WCC and contributing to work that involves churches from around the world is a unique learning opportunity. They expressed their hopes to use their experience from their home churches in contributing to the WCC’s call for a “pilgrimage of justice and peace” issued by the WCC 10th Assembly in 2013.