Hello Everyone. My name is Vanessa Espina Romo. I will be a second semester student at MIIS studying International Policy and Development. My interest in the Peacebuilding Program is to be able to understand and  explore in depth the concept of “peace building”. My understanding is that Peacebuilding is about intervening in conflicts while creating a plan for sustainable peace for that region, country, or community.   My interest in this program also stems from my personal experience working with a medical nonprofit in Nigeria and Cameroon. The medical nonprofit’s focus was on providing basic, adequate medical care to rural regions. I believe that a possible form of peacebuilding can be achieved through providing medical care to those in need, especially during times of war. Healthcare is a human right and having access can help make a positive impact in the world.

Since coming to MIIS, I am still deciding on whether to focus on conflict resolution and social justice or migration, trafficking, and human security. For this summer, as part of figuring out academic track for my future, I am looking forward to this program and gaining a better understanding on how to handle challenging problems societies face today, such as conflicts or different forms of violence that people on a daily basis.  I look forward to speaking with practitioners and learning more about their first hand experiences in such situations. I expect the peace building program to be intense but very rewarding in the end.