This month, see behind the scenes at WCI. Our interns are a very important component of the organization, and we depend on them for a lot. They worked together to formulate what they wanted to say about their work here. Enjoy!
As an International Relations major who focuses on development issues, I have been able to apply a lot of the concepts that I have learned to my work at WCI. I have studied a lot of work about foreign aid and the way that Non-Governmental-Organizations rely on grants to carry out their projects. I have learned a lot about how projects are not as effective if the objectives of the donor do not connect with the objectives of the organization. I have also learned about issues that arise in implementation when organizations fail to partner with on the ground organizations in taking a community based approach to development. This has been very useful in finding and choosing grants for Women's Campaign International and helping to draft proposals for countries such as Tunisia, Moldova and Syria.
Ensuring women have a seat at the table is really about equitable distribution of power. In a world where power is increasingly held hostage, women and those who have historically been shut out of power need a seat at the table in order to ensure that resources are allocated properly for communities. Women are advocates, not just for themselves, but for their children and often for their communities. In this way, when women are given a seat at the table, everyone is.
My interest for international women’s rights started at a young age. My parents were born in an indigenous community of Quechua descent located in the Peruvian Andes. Even though I was born and raised in the USA, my parents made sure that I was well connected to my ethnic roots and its rich history. I was exposed to the reality of political injustices many Peruvian women face, and the importance of supporting and advocating for women’s rights.
As a woman, I will evoke positive change by proving in my own work that I am just as capable as any man. I will continue advocating for gender equality and I will choose to challenge those who deny me or any other woman equal rights. I will continue mentoring young girls and encouraging them to do well in school.
The best part about working at WCI is definitely being able to interact with everyone in the office. Since it is a small organization, I am able to work on projects on every aspect of WCI, from administrative tasks to programming to financial matters.
I really admire that WCI works not only for economic gain for women, but also political power so that women in developing countries can have lasting influence on policies that affect their lives. These qualities make WCI so unique as an organization, and I really wanted to be a part of their work. My favorite project that WCI has managed is the GALS program in Philadelphia. I go to school in Baltimore, where there are so many bright young women who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and are told from an early age that they will never succeed in life by people who are supposed to help them. GALS is amazing because these seminars help girls realize that they are leaders and can accomplish anything. It is such a simple affirmation, and yet it can have such a large impact.
I hope to be able to extend my experience at WCI with my career in global women's health. In the near future, I plan on joining the Peace Corp and applying my office experience to tangible interactions in the developing world.