Hello, my name is Marie-Therese, I’m 18 years old and am taking a gap year before entering the baffling world of university, where I will hopefully be reading Human Sciences.
My time at the JTC came to an end last week, and even though my work experience spanned a mere two weeks, I already miss it! There were some instances when concerned faces would appear, asking whether scanning in the endless pile of entries was mind-numbing work, but it was in fact overall a very eye-opening experience. It also helped that the RCS team just so happens to be very cool.
I had never thought prior to starting my set task that it would be in any way an emotional experience, but I guess submerging myself in 60 years worth of social history for hours on end would have some effect on me. The fact that I was holding the original copy of occasionally very personal essays made for an almost confidential process- before I uploaded them online to be accessible to the public. I was genuinely saddened by some, and had to stifle a few laughs to not seem like the repetitive work was getting a little too much for me. Some of my favourites are as follows-
I’ll begin with something light and cheerful; Smile, smile, smile by Sudipto Das. The picture not only reminds us to smile (one should always smile), but also captures a very poignant reality of Indian development. Yes, this adorable photo holds an economic background- here the photographer has captured the positive contribution microfinance has brought to rural villages.
Next, A poem for my twin cousins by Neha Shah. This is wonderfully cute, you can see how much love Neha has for her newborn cousins, and rightly so, the world should be aware of their existence. And it rhymes perfectly.
And finally, a very powerful essay by Tariro Jackson. He recounts with great eloquence an extremely difficult time for Zimbabwe; a time of catastrophic drought and political insecurity. He is only twelve yet he comes across as very mature and speaks with great truth which meant I reread his essay a few times before I was able to digest it. I really respect Tariro for what he has endured, his bravery, and his gift of allowing us to understand something we are not familiar with despite the media’s focus on global crises. There are so many prejudices when it comes to these matters and Tariro sets the record straight.
I think the Queen will be very touched by this social archive and moved by the sheer amount of change that has occurred during her 60 years on the throne. All in all, my experience at the RCS is very much valued, I hope it will fuel my final but slightly vague goal in life- to travel and help people. Vague, I know.