Local resident hoping to make a difference

Central Saanich’s Graham McCarthy embarking on a nine-month internship program

Graham McCarthy will be working with youth in need and in social activism overseas.

Graham McCarthy admits he’s nervous about some of work — and the places — he will be going to over the next nine months.

He’ll be thrown into such places as Latvia, Thailand and Mongolia to work with agencies facing issues such as human trafficking, AIDS and child soldiers. It’s part of a GlobeTREK internship program through Prairie Bible Institute that will see McCarthy not only expanding his own horizons, but working to help others as well.

“Something is wrong in the world when you see such issues as the sex trade and human trafficking, “ he said. “It’s my goal to be able to help with these problems.”

The internship program, he said, is nine months of intense work and immersion in different cultures. For him, part of the journey will include forming his own path in social justice work.

“I will be working on that,” he said, “and I hope I can get a much better understanding of the global human condition.”

He said he’s nervous about what he might witness, having grown up in a pretty affluent part of the world. McCarthy is in his third year at Prairie Bible Institute, seeking an undergraduate degree. He said the program overseas follows the tenets of the school and he will be spreading the word of the Gospel along the way.

“Ministry is part of the trip,” he explained. “The message of the Gospel is the solution to a lot of the problems in the world and what kind of person would I be if I’m not sharing that?”

The Stelly’s Secondary School grad begins his journey Sept. 10. It’s off to Europe first, then Southeast Asia. Along the way, the program sets McCarthy and another four students up with organizations working in those countries.

“It’s going to be great, I’m going to love it,” he said in anticipation of the nine months abroad.

The program, however, is not cheap and McCarthy has put out an appeal to the community for support. He has worked hard to be able to make the journey, and is seeking help to raise funds to ensure he can complete the internship program. To help, people can visit www.grahamstrek.weebly.com. That website will provide updates on his progress and the issues he will be helping with while on the road from September to May.