Scholar: Jonathan Carral
Major: International Affairs
Faculty Mentors: Dr. Carina Black
Research Topic: Evaluating the Strength of Faith-based Organizations in Developing Positive Identity in Street Children of Developing Countries
Abstract: In my experience abroad and within academia, I have come to recognize a stigma surrounding faith-based organizations and their provision of humanitarian services. I have since resolved to evaluate the advantages of Christian faith-based organizations specifically in rehabilitating orphaned and vulnerable youth in the international spectrum. The plight of these vulnerable children is of particular importance to international affairs in that they are one of the most marginalized members of a given society. These children represent every continent, every age, and every background. They can be found in HIV/AIDS affected communities, populated urban centers, poor rural communities, and in both developed and developing countries. The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child states that a child's standard of living should be, "adequate for the child's physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development." Not only do these children lack these basic rights, but they also lack a voice within society. As a result, faith-based organizations and their secular counterparts play an essential role in helping these children. In my analysis, I have concluded to focus on four distinct advantages that Christian faith-based organizations have in providing services to orphaned and vulnerable youth: sense of moral obligation, emphasis on holistic development, stimulation of positive identities, and logistical advantages. I have conducted a literary review as the primary research method. By evaluating the advantages of Christian organizations in the rehabilitation of orphaned and vulnerable youth, I have identified certain contributions these organizations can make beyond their secular counterparts in helping vulnerable youth. By highlighting these qualities, I will show how faith-based organizations, along with other organizations and governments alike, can work together to better meet the needs of the orphaned and vulnerable youth population.
Earned Baccalaureate Degree: spring 2014
Master's Degree Update: Enrolled in Master's Program, International Affairs, Columbia University