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Field Rep Voices: Laughter is Universal

Alexis is a senior from Long Island, New York who is getting her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Service & Administration at St. John’s University.

If her story inspires YOU, apply to work with us in Ghana this summer: sahaglobal.org/gotoghana

 

Why did you decide to apply for the Global Leadership Program?

Whenever my family would go on vacation, my parents made sure we gave back, especially in places where we have roots, like Guatemala, Argentina and Ecuador. So instead of going to the beach, we’d go work on a farm. That’s where my passion for partnering with people in developing communities began.

I heard about Saha Global from my friend Kayla who was a field rep in 2016 with the solar program.

What did you take away from the experience?

Going to Ghana with Saha Global was life changing for me. With everything that’s going on in our country it was a reminder that we are all human. If we aren’t willing to work with one another, who is? That was something very important I brought back home with me.

I got very attached to my community, Zakariyili, especially a little girl named Charisa, the chief’s granddaughter. She was with her mom (one of the entrepreneurs) every day. I could see that one day she would become part of the water business, too.

Even though we didn’t speak the same language, we formed strong emotional bonds with people. Our translator was great. She helped us communicate with everyone. And laughter is universal. The entire experience just left a place in my heart.

What was your “Saha aha” moment?

On my last day in Tamale I heard the women in the kitchen singing. The song was written by my church back home. In that moment, everything came full circle.

I gathered all of the things I wasn’t going to bring back — clothes and bug repellant — and gave them to the women. They were so happy that they were crying, and then I was crying, too. It’s not just about the communities you’re working in every day. You can change how people feel about their day through a simple gesture.

How has the Global Leadership Program influenced your career plans?

I’m really, REALLY passionate about social justice, especially systemic racism in our country. The program pushed me to look even deeper and understand my interest in social justice. I’m interested in finding work in Flint, Michigan after graduation (their water is STILL dirty). I never would have considered that before going to Ghana.

Someday I want to start my own nonprofit, so it was really awesome to see the inner workings of Saha and learn how to fundraise.

What advice do you have for future field reps?

Bring a first aid kit. My mom got me a traveler’s first aid kit with everything under the sun — ointment, Advil, aspirin, even a thermometer. I ended up using a substantial amount of it.

I wish I would have brought more stylish clothes. The women in the village were dressed so beautifully and I was wearing athletic gear the whole time.

Most of all, take it all in. The experience goes by pretty quick and you don’t think it will. Soak in every day and make as many connections with people as you can.

If you think you could help Saha bring clean water to a new community this summer, get your application in now!

You can still make our “First Round” Application Deadline: February 24th.

Let us know >> Apply Here!

 

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