During the summer of 2016, Carly Seedall '18, International Relations major with a minor in German, welcomed the opportunity to positively impact the lives of migrants and refugees as they settled into new places. What she didn’t expect was for her own life to be enriched beyond her expectations.
After engaging closely with the issue of refugee and migrant displacement through high school and on Professor Wiedmer’s travel to Greece, Seedall knew she was passionate about helping, in one way or another, to combat the current refugee crisis. With the help of Franklin's Tucker Family Fellows Global Internship Program, Carly found an opportunity to intern with Caritas, an organization dedicated to serving and defending marginalized people in areas such as disaster relief, food, health, development, and migration. Seedall joined a branch of the worldwide organization in Paderborn, Germany, where they specialize in refugee and migrant assistance.
Throughout the summer, Carly took on many different roles alongside her colleagues at Caritas, which included making house visits, running the office’s open consultation hours, and occasionally translating for the psychological center. These various responsibilities allowed Seedall to build strong relationships with the families and individuals she was able to assist with legal, financial, health and other issues.
Reflecting back on her experience, Seedall said, “Listening to people’s stories and learning what they were going through. It was sad at times, when people would come in with their deportation notices, and at that point there isn’t much you can do. There were a lot of sad moments, but there were also a lot of joyful moments because people were really grateful to be in a better place, and to be alive.”
Seedall’s experience this past summer inspired her to continue to be involved in activism. Drawing on a connection she made while studying abroad at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Carly was able to connect with a friend from Norway who introduced her to another opportunity. She is currently working for an NGO called Project-E, an organization that takes a sustainable approach to development in Ethiopia. Focused on educational projects for young girls and women, Project E adopts educational programs tailored to the Ethiopian economy and then transfers the project to local leadership.
Through her experience with Caritas and now her public relations work with Project E, Seedall has made many meaningful connections while working toward a more integrated world: “Every day, I felt like I was making a little bit of a difference.”