My name is Erika Toffelmire, I was an intern for 2 years (2012-2014) directly after finishing my undergraduate degree in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Waterloo.
As an intern, I spent a lot of time with the children of Romero House running Kids Club, coordinating a program for children at the Rexdale Detention centre, and holding many, many babies. I especially loved connecting with volunteers and spending time with my companions, learning about their country and tasting their delicious food!
Since leaving the internship, I have been working at St. Jerome’s University in Campus Ministry. Recently I began working with a committee to look at the role the university could be playing to welcome refugees in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, a wonderful opportunity for me to continue advocating for people I deeply care about. In the summer of 2015, I also married a fellow former Romero House intern!
Romero House taught me so much about my own vulnerability, about weathering joys and sorrows as a community, and most importantly about what it means to welcome and be welcomed by others. The internship program provides an incredible opportunity to live fully in a vibrant community where your work is sometimes simple (like buying groceries or painting an apartment) but is always deeply meaningful.