My name is Maria Rast and I’ve been an Intern at Perspectivity for almost 2 months now. I think a lot of you might know me from the Perspectivity Network Events, where I’ve been participating in since November 2014.
Originally, I’m from Switzerland, but I’ve been living in the Netherlands for almost two years now. I think it’s save to say that I have quite a diverse background. After having to quit my professional ballet education because of an injury when I was 17, I had to quickly come up with a new dream for my future. I decided to study (international) criminal law and human rights because I liked the idea of being able to promote justice in the world by prosecuting the most horrific crimes as a lawyer.
However, while studying, I quickly realized that I did not like being bound to the law without being able to simply disregard, or better yet, change it when I thought the law to be inappropriate. I realized that I am more intrigued by the psychological and social aspects of crimes and the interplay between the law and society, because I believe that these perspectives can help legislators to come up with more just solutions. I loved doing research for my master thesis about the interaction between the abortion laws of the Netherlands and Switzerland and people’s opinion about abortion. I also conducted research about the psychological and societal aspects of neonaticide, the killing of new-borns, and did an international comparison of the laws on neonaticide as a student-assistant at the Willem Pompe Instituut in Utrecht.
Through these research projects, I figured out that doing research about complex legal problems is what I want to do in the future, and to be able to understand the whole complexity of legal problems even better, I decided to go back to University starting in September 2015 to do a second master in sociology.
The internship at Perspectivity is of course the perfect way to get more acquainted with the complexity of society. In the beginning of my internship, I attended a lot of meetings where I’ve gained insight into the work and values of Perspectivity. During the last couple of weeks I did research about trauma-healing in Rwanda to support Lisette with the evaluation of the Youth LEAD project of UNICEF in South Sudan. We have also started analyzing the results of the Most Significant Change inquiry that Lisette conducted in South Sudan.
Through these projects, I’ve already gained a lot of valuable experiences that certainly help me to be open for new perspectives and therefore, to be able to analyze complex social and legal problems more adequately, efficiently and sustainably.