Maria Jose Ayala Research Assistant Internship
My internship at the IGDC Child Carers Project. A transformative experience.
The Child Carers Project seeks to study the experiences of children and young people who do regular care work at home in the context of developing countries. It is intended to determine the existence of harm in these groups and to identify alternatives for its mitigation.
I applied for this internship because in recent years I have been interested in studying the dynamics of domestic work in Latin America in general, and in Paraguay -my home country- in particular. During my one-month internship at the IGDC, I collaborated with the Child Carers Project by conducting a literature review regarding the economy of care in Latin America and the issue of child carers in the region.
Throughout this work, and thanks to the constant support of the IGDC team, my research skills improved remarkably. Researchers from the Centre guided me on the use of databases, and on the process for searching, organizing and analyzing information. This was crucial to face the challenge of building a valuable and useful piece of work.
Moreover, I had the pleasure of participating in a workshop with renowned academics and researchers in the field of social reproduction. It was an enriching experience not only in terms of the acquired knowledge on the topic but also in terms of the understanding about the world of research, how researchers address their work, and how they interact with other scholars in related fields. It is a process of collaborative knowledge construction that I find fascinating.
Finally, in this research process, I was able to expand my understanding of domestic and care work and to situate its analysis in the macro context of the care economy. This led me to define the topic for my MA dissertation and to shape my path for future research and career prospects. I am willing to contribute to the understanding and the development of policies on ‘care’ in Latin America.
I believe global development challenges can only be tackled through a collaborative approach among disciplines, and this is an idea that characterizes the work that the IGDC is doing. You can clearly feel how people are willing to share knowledge and also to learn from other perspectives. I would strongly recommend students to get involved with the IGDC!
Maria Jose Ayala