Meet Aziah Hussin, A Ridzwan Dzafir Community Award Recipient

My first experience in the field of international law and development took place in the backdrop of one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history – the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004. During a youth expedition on behalf of the United Nations to deliver aid to children orphaned by the disaster in Banda Aceh, we were met with challenges from which I learnt that humanitarianism and human rights law are not simple matters of helping the helpless. Power and corruption, and politics and pragmatism, are at their most stark when resources are scarcest, and needs, most desperate. From that experience, I learnt that I would require the technical tools to make a difference, and for that, my academic journey in law began.

After graduating from the National University of Singapore (NUS), I joined the Disputes Resolution team at a top litigation firm in Singapore, Drew & Napier LLC. In legal practice you learn the intricacies of the law and the challenges of using it for where the justice lies. After 5 years of being a litigator, I am determined to advance into a career in international law and human rights. I will soon be commencing the University College London Masters Programme (LLM) in International Law to gain the requisite knowledge and apply the same to effect real change on the ground.

With the support of the RDCA Merit Scholarship, I am now undergoing an internship at The Hunger Project Australia (THPA). The Hunger Project (THP) is a large international non-government organisation (NGO) headquartered in New York. THPA offered me an internship specially curated to deepening my existing legal expertise and broadening my practical knowledge on the workings of an NGO.

The THP model which focuses on (i) mobilisation for self-reliance, (ii) empowering women as key change-agents for development and (iii) making local government commit to breaking the cycle of poverty is truly remarkable. I have never seen anything like it and the data has proven successful results. I truly believe THP has found an effective and, significantly, enlightened, way to achieve its goals.

The THPA team is inspiring and passionate and is an absolute joy to work with, both professionally and socially. They have prioritised my goals for the internship and married that with a range of challenging, mind-opening and dynamic work. They have tasked me with projects which challenge me beyond the legal work in which I am trained and have provided good guidance and support throughout.

Work aside I have also grown from listening to their stories and understanding what motivated them to pursue this cause. In an environment of people who truly walk the talk, THP’s goal of breaking the cycle of poverty seems, I daresay, surmountable.

With my internship experience and legal expertise, I hope to contribute back to our Malay/Muslim community through projects that adopt the key efforts of THP and focus on raising the educational attainment and self-esteem of women in need of empowering, assisting them in uncovering their own potential and skills, and ensuring the sustainability of such projects to ensure the cycle of poverty is broken.

As Aung San Suu Kyi said, “The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all.” Though we may not solve all the world’s problems, it is a challenge that we must dare take on, in our lifetime.

– Aziah Hussin-


Source: MENDAKI Singapore

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *