I had the honor of working with this amazing non-profit located in the 1819 Innovation Hub. I first discovered the organization in high school when we raised money during our weekly Mission Collection. At UC, when I started doing research into developing countries and their relationship to climate change, I rediscovered the organization. I reached out to be an intern and was ecstatic to get the position, because never before in my life had I directly worked with people overseas. Village Life Outreach focuses on specific villages in Tanzania, connecting them with engineers and healthcare workers to give them access to basic necessities like education and water. My favorite part about Village Life is their knowledge of how developing countries function; providing temporary solutions will not end the cycle of poverty and overpopulation. A systemic change must happen, which is why Village Life gives Tanzania a 'hand up', rather than a 'hand out'.
When I first started at Village Life, I learned about the behind-the-scenes of their finances and tracked all of the money that was donated. I learned so much about how to handle large amounts of money and use certain databases to track it. I also packed suitcases that were headed directly for Roche, a village that is benefitting from the organization. I packed masks and COVID tests, along with toothbrushes and other necessities. Another aspect of my job was doing research projects for the directors that worked in the office. I researched how UC students get involved with certain non-profits and how they Village Life can further its involvement with young people. My favorite project with Village Life was helping to design a display for their office in the Innovation Hub. I worked with DAAP students from other companies in the building to design large panels that displayed information about developing countries and Village Life's history and work. Because it was such a big project, it was not completed during a singular semester. However, I learned so much about graphic design and writing, and I'm excited to see my work displayed on the walls of their office soon.
I would like to thank Sue Casey-Leininger for giving me this position and guiding me throughout the entire process. She worked with me on every project and provided an uplifting and fulfilling work experience!