McKenzie Swain joined the Embrace Dignity team in May of this year and will spend the next two months with us to improve her knowledge on and experience of what it takes to successfully manage a non-governmental organisation advocating for the rights of women that are prostituted and trafficked for sex. We sat down with Swain to find out more about her interest in the non-profit sector.
Q: What are you currently doing back home?
A: I attend George Washington University in Washington D.C. where I am a sophomore pursuing a degree in International Affairs with a concentration in International Development Studies. I am hoping to minor in either Women’s Studies or Human Services and Social Justice in future.
Q: Why did you decide to come to Embrace Dignity for an internship?
A: My goal in future is to pursue a career in the non-profit sector focusing on development. I am specifically interested in helping people further their education and gender equality across the world. I chose to do an internship at Embrace Dignity because I share the same view as the organisation – that prostitution is a form of gender based violence. I also believe strongly in the Nordic Model or Equality Law.
Q: What else, other than Embrace Dignity’s vision and mission, attracted you to the organisation?
A: It was not only Embrace Dignity’s ideology that brought me to the NGO, but the fact that the organisation is actually bringing about real change and creating dialogue. Embrace Dignity does not only advocate for law reform, it creates support systems to help those who have already exited prostitution. Their holistic approach to the problem of prostitution was what drew me to the organisation.
Q: What else do you hope to gain from your time at Embrace Dignity?
A: During my time in Cape Town I hope to gain real experience on how to manage a non-profit and also witness what it takes to run a successful NGO. My goal is to bring that knowledge back to the United States so that I can continue advocating for gender equality there.