UK: Being an intern with Save the Children

I have been working as an intern in Save the Children’s Head Office for two months now.

I’m working in the humanitarian communications team, which is like a database switchboard – our teams around the world send reports in to us and we pass it on to the relevant people.

When members of the Save the Children Humanitarian team need facts on how many families we’ve provided water to in Kenya, or how extensive the flooding is in Cambodia, they come to us.

This is fantastic for me. As a student I’m learning so much. I love knowing what’s going on where, keeping up to date with what’s going on all over the world, and supplying people with the information they need.

Job satisfaction: saving lives

Seeing how many millions of people, especially children, are suffering in emergencies all over the world can be upsetting, but this is counterbalanced by seeing our responses.

The number of children that we’re reaching is phenomenal, and you can’t get better job satisfaction than knowing that in so many cases our organisation is actually saving lives.

I was shocked at the number of emergencies that we respond to at Save the Children. Earthquakes, civil wars, typhoons and drought are just some of the situations that I have seen in the short time I have been here. And many of these are on a massive scale.

Mekong river flooding

One of our biggest concerns at the moment is the flooding surrounding the Mekong River. It’s monsoon season in Southeast Asia, and it has been raining heavily in the region for two months.

A third of Thailand is currently underwater. In Cambodia, water levels are their highest in a decade.

Scores of children have died as a result of the flooding through drowning, electrocution or illness from the dirty water. Much more of the population has lost farmland and their sources of livelihood to the floods.

Emergency response

I’m proud that we’re already responding. In Vietnam, Save the Children was the first non-governmental organisation on the scene.

This is excellent because children are always the worst affected in emergencies, and we already had supplies of aid available which we could dispatch to those in need.

Although my role may not be directly saving the children, I’m glad to be helping an organisation that is making a difference where it really matters.

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