"Hope"  "Health"  "Opportunity"  "Progress"  "Education" 

The HOPE team is growing yet again, and there’s a new intern on board!

My name is Marissa Foley and I am a fourth year student that is usually stowed away in the library of the University of Ottawa studying politics and history. But, for the next few months there will be a (huge) change of scenery for me as I’ll be working with HOPE from Peru! 

As I started my search for an internship many months ago, I had one goal in mind: to find a place where I would be carrying out truly meaningful work. I was tired of working in a cubicle doing research that would seldom go anywhere. I wanted my time and efforts to be contributed to a project that brought good into people’s lives. HOPE fit that criteria perfectly, and beyond that it’s work with people living with disabilities really hit home for me.

Growing up, an awareness of the realities of living with disabilities was fostered through my relationship with my Uncle Frank; he lives with cerebral palsy (and a long list of other illnesses) and is confined to a wheelchair. Now, within a developed country like Canada, things are difficult for people living with disabilities; however, within the borders of a developing country like Peru the struggles and lack of opportunities are magnified. Anyone that has ever lived or worked with people living with disabilities knows that it completely changes your perspective on society and the world. You will constantly evaluate things by a standard that most don’t even consider. Personally, I think this is what leads to so many gaps and lack of opportunities for people living with disabilities, and so there is much work to be done! I am incredibly excited to be able to carry out this work as an intern with Help Them HOPE.

A student myself, I understand the value of education and I want to help those that really want an education be able to access it. It’s a great honour to be able to help bring such a life-changing opportunity to those living with disabilities in Peru. I’m hoping I can use some of the skills I’ve learned through school to help others access education!

So, my time working with Help Them HOPE starts now: Ready, set,.... GO!