Pivot in action
Half of my time at Pivot has already gone by and it has been interesting researching housing and violence issues, helping out with the Hope in Shadows Project, attending different kinds of Pivot events such as the Housing Forum, or doing just whatever comes up and needs to be done.
Although it might be the most challenging part of my internship, what I most enjoy doing is getting in contact with people, listening to their stories. I really feel like I am getting to know what is happening on the ground. Most of the time this is happening when it is my duty to sit on the reception desk and I answer people’s phone calls or every once in a while somebody happens to come in to our office. It can be quite frustrating to see how often I fail to be able to help them in a way that would allow them to take a step forward. In lots of cases though, people are happy to have found someone who will actually listen to their problem. It often leaves me terribly overwhelmed by what their reality looks like – and how different it is from mine.
Sometimes I am also lucky to see Pivot in action which is just what happened a couple of weeks ago.
One of Pivot’s lawyers invited me to come along to a trial at small claims court to observe the final process of a case that was seven years in the making. It, in my opinion, was basically about securing the principle that nobody should face injustice based on appearance or social status.
I was excited to go and eager to see how the world of law on another continent works. It was good to experience the way the court process takes place within the case/law – system. Being in court for the first couple of times, I suppose, the rules themselves are an interesting experience – but nothing compared to the cross-examinations and testimonies. I was impressed with the details lawyers are aware of to be able to pose questions in a way that allows them to find evidence within controversial arguments; and controversial might actually be the best word to use for describing my court experience.
Our client’s point was clear, namely we live in a free country and nobody should be judged or assaulted without reason. We are waiting for the decision and hoping that our arguments were convincing enough.