A few summers ago I had the opportunity to intern for an organization in Nairobi, Kenya. After spending several months there, I thought I knew what to expect working within a nonprofit. Starting at Blood:Water, I quickly learned that I was just beginning to scratch the surface. Not only have I learned more about the impact that small acts of love can make, but I have realized the importance of instilling dignity and respect in every single person that crosses your path. Whether it’s the staff in the office, or someone across the ocean living in a village in Ethiopia, those acts of love can literally change lives!
During my first few weeks in the office, I was asked to begin designing one of the quarterly newsletters that would be sent out to donors all across the country. This task was really intimidating especially considering it was still my first week on the job! But the staff had full confidence and empowered me to create something great, even when I doubted myself. This became a theme throughout the my entire internship at Blood:Water.
When I think of Blood:Water as a whole, that theme is the heartbeat of the organization. The vision of Blood:Water is to empower. Empower their partners, empower African communities, and empower a fellow staff member and that includes the interns as well. It is something that is so clear in the work and throughout the entire organization. There is a pure joy and gladness with everyone in the office when we hear stories of our partners in Africa providing clean water or HIV care and support.
I truly believe that God brings you unexpected blessings in your life when you need it most. Blood:Water was one of those blessings for me. I, unknowingly, needed the encouragement, confidence, and empowerment that the Blood:Water staff brought out of me. It’s the same encouragement and empowerment that they bring out of their partners as well. As this journey comes to an end, this organization will always hold a special place in my heart, and I am excited to bring the lessons I’ve learned into whatever the next chapter brings.