I spent 14 weeks fighting world hunger with the World Food Programme, and all I got was this baseball hat.
Actually, that’s not true, but it’s one of the few physical tokens of my internship I’ll take with me when I leave today. It’s not that I didn’t gain anything — the most valuable things I’ve received are intangible.
I think it’s about time I add some substance to the blog’s title, “From the Intern Desk” because one’s personal space indicates a lot about what he or she does.
At the conclusion of my internship, but just before I clean up, my desk is slightly cluttered. The black planner to my left is considerably fuller than it was in January, and it documents the handful of school visits, conference calls, production schedules, design deadlines and blog ideas on which my internship was built.
A small letter tray contains a month’s worth of paper recycling — it’s full of pamphlet mock-ups, scribbled and check-marked to-do lists and barely legible notes. Two Mentos gum containers hold my pens and markers, next to which lies matching Post-it Notes and highlighters. Everything is visibly used and worn, but I feel like I wasn’t here long enough for that to happen.
But a lot has happened. There’s a stack of five DV tapes, each of which captures a different hunger issue from the past four months in a few different languages. It started with the earthquake in Haiti, and the need to raise awareness heightened. Nutrition, emergency operations, students in action — I did my best to cover it all and help make a difference in a global issue.
And I think I did. From my 4-square metre workspace, I communicated with students and teachers from every continent except Antarctica. This cubicle was one of two from which an international fundraising campaign launched. In the blue folders littering this tiny, wooden desk are drafts of posters, pamphlets, lesson plans and written stories that were seen all over the world.
I essentially sat in a corner for the majority of my time at the World Food Programme, but people in numerous countries felt the effects of the work generated in that corner. That’s what really comes from the intern desk. I’ve said it before — I’m an average, predictable 21-year-old. There are plenty of people out there like me — like you — who can positively affect society, even if we’re just sitting at little desks.
I will always treasure the things I achieved and earned while sitting at this desk — especially my WFP hat (and my matching T-shirt). But don’t just take it from me. See what other interns do in the video below, the last product of my internship here. Meet the interns:
Christine DiGangi is from Chicago and interns with Youth Outreach. She loves running, chocolate and fighting hunger.