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Meet Our Field Reps: Sarah Pemberton

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After hearing about the Saha Global Leadership Program (SGLP) from a recent alumna, I was captivated by Saha’s seemingly simple solution to fundamentally better hundreds of lives.  I committed to volunteering when I learnt that Saha goes beyond just providing safe drinking water: it does so in a way that makes economic sense for the women that run them and supports the broader community by using local products.

My three weeks in Ghana were filled with experiences ranging from meeting every family in Tindan (the village that I was working in), to evenings relaxing with other volunteers who had traveled from around the world to similarly devote their time to helping others access clean drinking water. In particular, I fondly remember the day the water purification centre in Tindan opened for business: the village leaders led a prayer while solemnly taking the first sips of the Tindan’s drinking water, the village women queued up in the early hours of the morning to collect their first buckets, the village’s children eagerly followed us around trying to peer inside the containers and fascinated by how the water became clear…  Since coming home from Ghana, I have continued to monitor Tindan’s monthly reports via Saha’s Facebook page, excited to hear about the successes of the women entrepreneurs who safeguard the centre.

My biggest takeaway from the Saha’s Global Leadership Program was an impact-driven way of thinking about time: the experience of providing safe drinking water to hundreds of people in just three weeks incentives me to devote my time to causes that can create meaningful and measurable impact in peoples’ lives.  This mentality helped frame my thinking of future careers, prompting me to devote my time to similarly impact-driven organizations like Grameen Bank’s Bankers Without Borders and the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation, which both focus on the role of private sectors’ skills and services in providing opportunities and connecting the poor to their potential.  Now, I am in my final year at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where I will graduate in 2015 majoring in Science, Technology, and International Affairs (STIA).

Want to learn more about Sarah’s experience or have any specific questions? Sarah would love to tell you more! Feel free to email her at pemberton.sj@gmail.com Also take a look at what she’s up to now!

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