Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Message from Alexis

As an International Relations student at Michigan State, my email inbox is constantly full of internship opportunities with various state representatives in Lansing, it had gotten to the point where I hardly even looked at the emails MSU sent me because I knew none of the political opportunities interested me.
Then one day in August, right before heading back to school, I got an email about an internship opening with the Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project. I thought, “Well, hey, that doesn’t sound very political at all!” I continued to read the message, and the first sentence informing me that Nyaka provides free education to HIV/AIDS orphans in southwest Uganda sold me. The second sentence told me about the grandmothers who take care of these orphans and their role in the students’ development. The third sentence was about Nyaka’s gravity fed clean water project, nutrition program, the library, and the new Mummy Drayton clinic. I was sold. I’ve always been interested in International Development, but Nyaka was the perfect combination of everything that interested me from education to sustainable development.
A couple of weeks later I was hired as the Communications Intern for the fall 2012 semester. Working in the office at Nyaka is not your typical job filled with menial tasks, but instead a rewarding and fulfilling adventure where you actually see the difference you are making in lives of thousands of Ugandans. Nyaka’s staff exemplifies passion and commitment to their world changing work—something that is very rare in today’s society.
I’ve worked with other nonprofit organizations before, but I have never come across the innovation and holistic approach that Nyaka embodies. The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project works at kicking poverty’s butt! I would highly recommend getting involved through sponsorships, volunteering, or even just reading Jackson’s book, A School For My Village. Nyaka will change the way you see the world, I promise. 

Alexis served as our Communications Intern and is working this year at Life Choices, a non-profit dedicated to youth development in Cape Town, South Africa.