Blog Post

A Great Start to Summer with Sudu
By: Illariy Humala, U.S. Intern

I began my internship at SUDU a couple of weeks ago and it has already been a tremendously rewarding experience. I have met a team of incredibly committed individuals who believe in SUDU’s mission with the children of Sierra Leone and work tirelessly to provide them with the quality of life that all children deserve. Before coming to SUDU, I volunteered at organizations that work for the wellbeing of children in vulnerable situations and these experiences led me to develop an interest in this type of non-profit work. However, these couple of weeks at SUDU have given me the chance to go beyond feeling inspired by the impact of these organizations and to truly appreciate all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. For this reason, I am very excited for what this summer has in store for me at SUDU.

As the Non-Profit Management intern, I am involved in tasks related to monitoring and evaluating, communications and administration, and fundraising. The diversity of this position has given me a great opportunity to learn about the multilayered nature of sustaining a non- profit. Some days, I am creating social media content, others, I’m drafting surveys to evaluate the progress of the organization. This is the perfect dynamic for someone who aspires to have their own similar non-profit someday in the future. Within these tasks, I have been able to employ my own creativity for the benefit of SUDU. Being able to contribute ideas and interact with the SUDU team in such an open and constructive way has been a great motivation for me because it has allowed me to have a true connection to the organization. The holistic nature of the work I am doing and the welcoming spirit of the entire SUDU community, both in Sierra Leone and in the U. S., has made this the ideal environment for me to grow professionally and I am very grateful for that.

Beyond the work itself, I have been able to learn a lot more about the very unique way in which SUDU operates and the importance of this particularly not only for Sierra Leone, but for the whole field of organizations that focus on caring for displaced and orphaned children. Often, child fostering systems focus solely on placing as many children as possible as fast as they can. While we must not discredit the good that these organizations do, SUDU has a lot to teach them when it comes to childcare. I have been exposed to the range of services that SUDU provides, from family training to tutoring for foster children in school, and it has taken me completely by surprise. SUDU focuses on the quality of life children lead, the education they deserve, and having trained foster parents that fulfill their socio-emotional needs. As I learn more about this unique system, I feel more grateful to participate in its operations. Understanding and believing in SUDU’s mission is the most rewarding factor of this summer opportunity.

I enrolled at the University of Chicago with the hopes of becoming a Political Science major with a minor in Human Rights. Like many other young and enthusiastic students, I had only a vague idea of what I might actually do after obtaining this degree. Now, that idea is a lot clearer. Even though I’m still new here, I know that this is the type of organization that I want to devote my future career to. SUDU has taught me so much already about what it means to work for a non-profit committed to a cause as pure as supporting the youth of an emerging economy. I cannot wait to see the final impact my time in SUDU will have on me by the end of the summer!