My name is Sebastian Zinfandel and I am a MSc student of Clinical Psychology. Right now, I am on a 4-month clinical work placement between October 2019 to January 2020 with Uyisenga Ni Imanzi.
I have previously studied Peace and Conflict Studies on the undergraduate level, and I’ve volunteered within the Red Cross Youth and other organizations in Sweden.
I have a special interest in post-conflict reconciliation and trauma healing, and was thus very interested when UNM offered me an internship.
During my time here I’ve gotten to see and report on the work that UNM does to reintegrate street children into society. I have also been able to conduct therapeutic work in English with adults. I’ve also helped with advocacy, connecting UNM to the Swedish Embassy and SIDA.
I’ve enjoyed being here as it gives me new perspectives to how to conduct clinical work. Rwanda is a country where the community takes a much larger role than in Sweden, where I’m from. In Sweden, it is common to describe individuals as malfunctioning within frameworks of diagnoses, whereas here it is more common to account for the bigger picture (family, community, society). This affects the clinical work, as it is more common here to use group counseling or community healing approaches.
It is also special, and I think essential, for someone like me who comes from a very privileged background to see and experience economic disparity and global inequality, as well as the mental health effects of poverty.
My time with UNM will continue to inspire and motivate me to work for a better world, in which an acceptable shared future can be achieved.
If you are considering to apply for an internship with UNM, I fully recommend it. It is an outstanding experience.
If you have any questions, please contact me on my linkedin page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sebastian-zinfandel-84761791
/Sebastian Zinfandel, Dec 2019