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Volunteers’ testimonials

Zachary West, University of Oklahoma College of Law, Norman, OK, USA
The intern has been hosted by the CLA in cooperation with the Blackstone Legal Fellowship (Alliance Defense Fund)

v1Working for Voice in Bulgaria in the summer of 2009 was an eye-opening experience for me – one that I won’t soon forget. In my time there, and in Bulgaria in general, I saw the heart-wrenching plight of immigrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, and stateless persons from Eastern Europe, Western Asia, and the Middle East. I saw innocent persons imprisoned and treated worse than common criminals for arbitrary and lengthy periods of time. I saw discrimination virtually non-existent in the United States for half a century. However, I also saw people working diligently to remedy these wrongs. I saw dedicated efforts being made to represent people with no voice of their own. I saw Christ’s compassion being shown to the poor and needy. And best of all, thanks to Voice in Bulgaria, I was able to contribute to this outreach, even if was only for a short time. Still, more people are needed. More help is needed, along with more funding. The situation reminds one of Jesus’ words in Matthew 9:37: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” (NIV)

 

Jeremiah Harrelsom, University of St. Thomas School of Law, Minneapolis, MN, USA
The intern has been hosted by the CLA in cooperation with the Blackstone Legal Fellowship (Alliance Defense Fund)

v2Working for Voice in Bulgaria this summer was a very meaningful experience for me.  My primary task was to draft several brochures that will eventually be given to refugees and asylum seekers in Bulgaria explaining their legal rights and obligations; though I also co-authored a memorandum concerning the current situation of refugees and asylum seekers in Bulgaria.  It was very satisfying to know that the work I was doing may one day be helpful to hundreds of migrants, but if even one person is helped through my work, I will be very pleased.  I thoroughly enjoyed my initiation into Bulgarian and EU law.  It was good preparation for the International Law course and the Immigration Law course I will be taking this fall.  And I was fascinated by the differences between our legal systems.  I felt that America does it better in certain respects, and in other respects I preferred the way things are done in the EU.  Interestingly, Bulgaria has a very nice Constitution, and the Bulgarian laws I read were just.  But I was shocked to see how governmental corruption in Bulgaria can lead to complete disregard of the laws.  Coming home to the USA, I felt thankful that we have a just legal system here.  I also see now how important it is that Americans continue to demand a just legal system.  If we stop demanding justice, we (like the Bulgarians) might stop getting it.  I felt supreme admiration for Diana Daskalova, who faces an uphill battle against a corrupt government.  It was very rewarding to work under her and to see how her faith in Christ inspires her to persevere in such a hostile legal environment.  This was a summer I will never forget.t to love that Body.  I pray I return.  

 

 
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