Immediate Inspiration: The Activism of Courage Fund Cambodia by Amelia Miller (A’22)

by tuftsigl
Jul 01

When I heard from the Courage Fund Cambodia (CFC) in May that I had been chosen to be an intern with their organization, I was ecstatic. Earlier in the year, when I had looked over the list of Oslo Scholars internships, Courage Fund Cambodia had stood out to me immediately. I have always been driven by the idea of working to improve and expand human rights in countries across the globe.

CFC is an organization that seeks to aid activists and families of activists who have been wrongfully imprisoned for speaking out against Cambodia's government. With the donations that CFC receives, it helps to pay legal fees, medical bills, and educational expenses for these activists and their families. This was a mission I knew I wanted to be involved in— it not only helped victims directly, but also promoted a message of peace, democracy, and freedom.

Despite my excitement at having the opportunity to work with such an incredible organization, I knew that having an internship during the times of COVID-19 would pose new challenges. Most of my work was going to be with social media, which was perfectly suited for an all-virtual internship. Meetings, however, were a little bit harder. CFC members are spread out across several countries. For example, the individual who I work most closely with is currently in exile in Malaysia, meaning there is a 12-hour time difference between us. Everyone consistently showed up to meetings with new ideas and excitement about future plans for the organization. I found this dedication to the cause incredibly inspiring, and hope to show the same dedication throughout my time as an intern with the group.

My role is primarily to help manage and curate new content for the organization’s social media channels. Although I have a lot of experience with running social media channels, I had never run social media accounts for a non-profit before, and I wanted to make sure I was prepared. In order to make sure that I was ready to help improve CFC’s media channels during my internship, I spent some time researching how to run successful social media accounts for non-profits, looking at other social media of Cambodian activist organizations, and brainstorming ideas to improve engagement on CFC’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. After starting my internship in June, I discussed the ideas I had brainstormed with the CFC team, and we figured out a system of posting that would work for everyone.

Since I only started my internship recently, I have just begun creating content for CFC, and have not met everybody on the team. I am really looking forward to getting to know more of the incredible people who make this organization work, and I am also very excited to learn more about how nonprofits work. I hope to come out of this internship with a better sense of what a career related to human rights may look like. Already, I have found myself inspired by the people that I am working alongside, who spend their time fighting for the rights

of all citizens, regardless of the dangers and oppression they may face as a result. This inspiration has only further solidified my interest in human rights, and my goal is to emerge from this internship with more developed skills and a better understanding of activism so that I too can aid in the fight for human rights and democracy across the world. In the meantime, I hope that the work I do for CFC on social media makes a positive difference in the country by increasing awareness of unfair political imprisonment and by helping to raise money for those who are risking their lives for a cause they believe in.