Happy New Year!
It was so fun for me to start 2019 by flying into D.C. on January 3, to start my internship. On my first day, I was able to meet the staff members at their office in Silver Spring, MD; learn a lot more about the organization; and think about what tasks I would like to do as an intern. I am looking forward to the month as an intern and what the D.C. area has to offer.
My first official task as an intern was to stuff thank you letters to send to donors. This was a pretty easy task, but I knew that it was helpful for me to do it. Obviously this task could be done by anyone in the office, but I took a positive approach and enjoyed it by thinking about how the thank you letters will make a great impact on their donors.
After the envelopes were ready to be sent off, I met with the U.S. Executive Director. I learned how Humanity and Inclusion U.S. focuses on marketing and fundraising, while the headquarters in Lyon, France deals with organizing the rest of the work, including fieldwork teams abroad.
I also learned about the important work HI does to create inclusive lifestyles for people with disabilities. The most interesting thing was to learn about the critical danger landmines cause for people, especially disabled people. Another major concern for HI is cluster munitions, something I was uneducated on until today. Cluster munitions are explosives that are dropped from the air, once they reach 100 feet from the ground they separate into small white balls. To children these look like soccer balls to play with, or kick at, which leads to devastating effects. HI has worked alongside organizations such as the UN, to fight for treaties that ban the use of cluster munitions, and to work towards eliminating explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA).
As you can tell, HI is an extremely important global aid organization. The stories of the people they help often are intense, moving and inspiring...check out their website to read their stories!
After my intro meetings, I walked around Silver Spring and was surprised to find a ton of places to grab lunch close by the office. It is very different compared to living in Decorah, IA where there are only a few options for food. Here, there are at least five Thai restaurants, numerous sandwich shops, and other types of cuisine.
Overall, it was a busy day meeting with the HI team, I learned a lot, and am looking forward to coming back Monday morning!