Thursday, July 30, 2009

Intern's Voice, Ye Wang

My name is Ye Wang and I have interned with GAA for over two months. This was my very first experience working in a foreign country. Also, this was the first time I have had the chance to work with people from such diverse backgrounds. It was really exciting and I am very grateful for all that I've learned and experienced.

I came to the US last year and currently am a graduate student at New York University Wagner School of Public Services. My study concentration at Wagner is Health Policy and Management, which focuses mainly on the US health care system and public health policies. I enjoyed the school work very much. However, because I come from another country where the political systems and social mechanisms are different from those in the US, I often got stuck both in classes and at home doing my readings. I was eager to get out of school, to meet people, and to experience more about the country that I am living in now. By the end of April 2009, I was lucky enough to get the offer from Global Action on Aging and started the internship right after I turned in my last final paper.

Days at GAA are very productive. I was responsible for all Chinese sections, including Chinese articles and reports about China's aging policies. As we all know, China is the biggest county in the world in terms of population, and it will be the country with the largest older population in a couple of years. Moreover, because China is still a developing country, some would say that China will become older before it becomes richer. Older and poorer, Chinese elders need help and should get more attention. I am glad that GAA acknowledged their importance and advocates for the rights of Chinese (and other) older persons.

After two months of intensive reading and researching on this topic, I became more and more interested in how people all over the world see this problem and what are they going to do to tackle it. Today on our website, you can find an article in the Elder Rights section entitled, Population of Older People Set to Surpass Number of Children. It says that the world is about to cross a demographic landmark of huge social and economic importance with the proportion of the global population 65 and over set to outnumber children under five for the first time. It means that the world is not just ageing, but the rate of ageing is also becoming more rapid. As stated in the article, "the transformation carries with it challenges for families and policymakers, ranging from how to care for older people living alone to how to solve the insolvency problem of our pension systems." I won't stop caring for aging although my internship will end soon. I do think all those who cares about themselves and their families should care aboutaging and older people, since we all will be old some day.

What I love the most are the people here at GAA. All the interns that I worked with became my close friends. Though we speak all kinds of languages and come from all over the world, there are things that we all share andvalue: genuine, positive attitude towards life and the world, and the willingness to help others and make a difference. Working with people that you really like can be one of the best things ever to happen. This made mylife at GAA full of laughs that I will treasure for a very long time.

No comments:

Post a Comment