Women in DRC Remind The World of A Local Voice’s Power

I was inspired by this Peace X Peace post that I read the other day. It reminded me of an important concept that many people forget. As organizations and people both in the United States and around the world strive to help communities, there needs to be a local voice. There should always be representation from the area that is trying to be helped. In this case, Democratic Republic of Congo. People assume, especially with the help of the media, that developing nations, or just places that are different that what they’re used to, are completely helpless. Worse than that, it is sometimes thought that the U.S. shouldn’t help people at all because they “obviously aren’t doing anything to help themselves”. This article titled Congolese Women: We’re Not Just Victims proves these arguments wrong.

Image from Peace X Peace article "Congolese Women-We're Not Just Victims"

Today, there are so many nonprofits and NGOs they are almost doing more harm than good. The system is flawed and unorganized, even when people mean well. That’s why there should always me a link within the community being assisted by these organizations to help guide the process and work together. Otherwise the voices of those in need can easily be lost, and they of course are the ones living it. I always felt it would be smart to have a central player in this system to keep nonprofits on the right track. A system that made an up and coming movement pass through the local community’s approval before becoming a registered organization. Maybe a policy that should be implemented so we can focus on solving problems rather than creating more. It’s something to think about.

The Inspiration of Catchafire

My next set of writing samples to add to the blog were going to be from my internship last winter with Catchafire.  It also just so happens that I went to their summer event last night at Wix Lounge.  Over drinks and snacks we celebrated the success and growth of an organization trying to change the world one professional at a time.  It was a great opportunity for networking, thought-provoking conversation and to learn.

It was great for me to be reunited with the team.  My internship with them helped me grow and gain skills to enter into my career.  I came in as a small town Ohio girl unaware of how to use my background and education in a professional setting.  With the responsibility and support of the other Catchafire employees I ended up not only working on my assigned research project, but also attending networking events, writing for the blog, updating their social media and getting the opportunity to attend meetings and interviews with the CEO/Founder Rachael Chong.  The experience made me more confident about what I had to offer in a career I was so passionate about.  The event last night reignited the spark of motivation I needed to keep learning and growing towards my goals.

Catchafire was an idea by Rachael Chong as she spent countless time looking for an opportunity to share her professional skills without finding anything.  Today, Catchafire matches working professionals with the thousands of nonprofit and social good organizations in New York City.  People are able to donate their skills such as finance, design, marketing, communication and technology to make an affective difference and helping organizations grow to create more positive changes throughout the world.  It’s a great opportunity for CSR.  If you’re looking for a fulfilling volunteer experience, I highly recommend checking them out and creating a profile.  I, personally, can’t wait to see them grow even further.

Here are links to the writing samples I wrote when I contributed to their blog last winter.  Enjoy!