Ashley Kosiewicz spent a summer as a Peace Fellow with the Advocacy Project, working with the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team (EPAF). EPAF is a civil society organization in Peru dedicated to the recovery and identification of Peru's 14,000 missing persons. As part of his internship, Ash traveled to Putis, where EPAF conducted the exhumation of the largest mass grave found in Peruvian history. Over three days, he interviewed relatives of the dead and chronicled their stories on video and in photos and press communications. "Relatives of Peru had waited 24 years to have their voice heard," he said, "and we were there to help them do that. This gave me a type of professional development only dreamed of when reading textbooks."
During his time in Peru, Ash became consumed with his work—something that was both exhilarating and at times debilitating. While he perfected his videos, the searing images of his footage left him at times emotionally drained. "It reminded me of how difficult human rights work is, and the sacrifice and commitment necessary to truly do it right. I firmly believe that good internships test your limits and boundaries, challenge your assumptions, and give you a nuanced understanding of once nebulous concepts and ideas," he said. "Given my interests in working in Latin America, on-the-ground field experience is very highly regarded. I now have a greater appreciation of human rights work within very difficult contests, and I believe I will be able to do future human rights work with a richer understanding of what is necessary to do good work."
Ash is now working as the Development and Communications Manager at the Latino Economic Development Corporation.
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