My name is Erica Hudson and I’m from Hopkinton, Massachusetts. In May of 2018 I graduated from Saint Anselm College (Manchester, NH) with a degree in International Relations and French. In the future, I hope to use my degree to work in the field of international policy advocacy or law. I chose to do a post-grad year of service to give back to the world that has given me so many privileged opportunities, while others suffer without the same opportunities. Before I begin my career it is important to me to have experience traveling and serving so I understand first-hand what the human rights situation looks like around the world.
For my mission with VIDES I will be going to Geneva, Switzerland for 3 months, and then to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for 6 months. In Geneva, I will be working for Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice, a nongovernmental organization in consultative status with the UN Human Rights Council. This organization, run by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Salesian Sisters, advocates for education for all – with a specific focus on women and girls facing poverty and in urgent situations. This is a cause that I am very passionate about and I look forward to serving this cause through policy work. In Ethiopia, I will be teaching English and music to elementary students at a Catholic school in the capital. I look forward to working with children and accompanying them on their educative and faith journeys, while immersing myself in the unique culture of Ethiopia.
I attended the VIDES Formation Service Camp in June 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. I was accompanied by one other volunteer, and we spent the week with the Salesian Sisters at the their provincial house. Throughout the week we learned about the teaching styles and philosophies of St. Maria Domenica Mazzarello and of St. John Bosco, co-founders of the Salesian order. Sister Gloria Mar and Sister Sydney Moss instructed us in our formation, offering practical and spiritual guidance for our upcoming missions.
During the second week of the Formation Service Camp we organized and ran a Bible camp for unaccompanied minors at Saints Peter and Joseph’s Children’s Home in San Antonio. We were joined by over 30 youth participants, who voluntarily signed up for our camp. Each day consisted of a song, skit, lesson, worksheet, craft, and outdoor game, all instructed in Spanish. Each day we followed the story of Joseph (Genesis 37-44), beginning on the first day with the brothers selling Joseph to the Ishmaelites, and ending on the last day with the reunification of the family. The themes we focused on were sin, divisions, forgiveness, and reconciliation. The participants were very engaged and voiced their appreciation for us on the last day of the camp.