As I start my work at Girls Education Collaborative, I am really looking forward to understanding just what it takes to run a nonprofit successfully–especially in light of the changes that have needed to occur in the development sector due to COVID-19. I was really drawn to GEC because of its unique approach to improving girls education, and loved that an organization from my relatively small hometown could make such a big impact on girls’ lives thousands of miles away. Hoping to pursue global development and girls education myself one day, it is comforting to know that with motivation, any person and any organization can make a tremendous impact on the world.
I think that when most people think of education nonprofits, they would think of the ground work that is done with schools and students directly. As I explore this field more, however, I’m realizing that development projects and goals are so much more than simply an idea of a way to help–not only does there need to be crucial on-site work and development, but there also needs to be an outside support team that can coordinate the logistics of realistically making these goals happen. Even with these roles, the gray areas of how each actor can contribute towards the project create an incredibly complex system of development, and working with GEC is something that I think could really help me to grasp this idea. GEC’s “support team” role in the creation of the Kitenga School for Girls has been truly vital to helping young girls in this village achieve an education that could vastly improve their future, and I am so eager to learn how this important side of the development field operates.
While the development sector will always be changing and adapting to the needs of populations, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that aid and sustainable solutions can be developed and administered. I am interested to see how GEC is adapting to this rapidly changing climate through projects, fundraisers, and new goals, as well as how this and other organizations are planning for situations that are still so uncertain. Along with most people, I think, I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the scale this pandemic has reached in our world and in our country. It is easy for me to get wrapped up in the issues our country is facing because there are simply so many of them, but working with GEC this summer is an opportunity that I hope will better allow me to grasp how other countries are dealing with this problem. For as much as we have gone through in the U.S., I can’t even begin to imagine how devastating this pandemic is and will be in developing regions like that of Tanzania. Working with GEC at this point in time may not look like the “normal” international development operations that existed a few months ago, but I see no better time to experience how an already adaptable field can forge ahead on major world issues no matter what is thrown its way.