How did you come to the Desert Flower Foundation and since when do you work here?
I've always wanted to start a career where I would know that I had been able to help someone at the end of the day. In April 2016, I applied for an internship at the Desert Flower Foundation and subsequently became a permanent team member.
What are your tasks and what is your daily work routine?
The first thing I do when I come to our office in the morning is to check my e-mails. Then I answer the individual requests regarding cooperations etc. and our projects.
I’m coordinating our projects in Sierra Leone, which means I communicate with our local partners and follow up the progress of our sponsorship project and communicate with our sponsors.
I regularly receive news of our little Desert Flowers and requests from our local team. Sometimes things have to be done very fast. Last year, there was a big landslide in Sierra Leone that left catastrophic damage in the country. Many of our little Desert Flowers lost their homes. Within a few days we were able to donate with the help of our community and provide the families with bare necessities.
An experience that has touched you the most?
There are many experiences that touched me deeply.
But most of all it's the conversations with affected women and our little Desert Flowers in Sierra Leone who tell about their struggles in life. Some of those stories and destinies break your heart.
Just before our visit to Sierra Leone, one of our little Desert Flowers lost her mother and her siblings during a house fire. Our local team immediately organized a new home for her at her aunts house, but such an experience changes your life forever. This wound can never be cured. Despite the fact that she was so young, she remained that brave as she told us about her fate and showed appreciation for her new home.
Many of the children in Sierra Leone experience cruel things that are inconceivable to most of us.
Our little Desert Flowers are incredibly strong and great personalities! Despite so many challenges in their still so young life, they give everything to make the most out of it!
How was your experience meeting the Desert Flowers in Sierra Leone?
Getting to know our Desert Flowers in Sierra Leone was the highlight of my work at the Desert Flower Foundation!
Every day, together with our local team, we fight for a better life for our Desert Flowers.
We look for donors, enable infrastructures on site and cooperate with families, doctors and local schools. Finally I could see the result of our hard work with my own eyes and this feeling was indescribable and wonderful.
We were welcomed with open arms by all our six communities. Our Desert Flowers inspired us with their own stage plays and self-composed songs.
Many of the girls told us something about their lives and asked curiously how life is back at home.
It was an exciting and very important time for me, which enriched me enormously and hence also helped me at work back here in Austria. Now I know most of the girls, know what they need, and feel much closer to them.
If you are interested in an internship at our sponsorship programme in Sierra Leone, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org! We are looking forward to meeting you!