Brazil, Uberlandia is a place full of nice and friendly people whom I met in October. The wonderful memories will always be in my heart for many years. The experiences I’ve gained during this trip not only gave me insight into the physical aspect of voluntary work, such as helping people and an organization, but also the emotional aspect of it as well through interactions with the people we served.
The non-governmental organization (NGO) that I worked for is SOS Mulher Família Uberlândia. This organization provides psychological, social and legal assistance to people involved in family violence. I was greatly impressed by how these unsung heroes and heroines assisted these victims and how professionally the NGO handles approximately 1,500 family violence cases a year.
Our assignment by the NGO was to improve the organization’s culture, communication and engagement. These improvements will in turn help to improve their effectiveness in helping the people in need. Despite feeling the fear of failing to accomplish this assignment, as I have no experience in this area, I was very motivated and excited to start!
The first week went by in a flash and was filled with ups and downs, as if we were taken on a roller coaster ride. The problems in the organization were overwhelming and all we could do was to dive right in and brainstorming for solutions. There were hiccups along the way, and we realized only later on that we were focused on the wrong project. This refocused our efforts and we immediately aligned to the NGO’s work scope. Soon, the project was progressing smoothly and steadily from then on.
During this assignment, I met two great teammates, Andrea Davis and Alex Kennedy. We worked really well together as a team and completed our tasks on time. It was a great experience working hand-in-hand with them, embarking on such a meaningful assignment to help improve the NGO. My wish at the end of this assignment is for all those little things we have contributed to SOS will grow and harvest for many more years to come.
All in all, this program has been a great eye-opener for me. I never imagined I would be one of the selected few for this program and I am very thankful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It had been a wonderful journey filled with so much fun, joy and tears I will always remember.
Editor’s Note: This is the ninth in a series of 10 blog posts by team members of the first Celanese International Impact Program to Uberlandia, Brazil.