Ever wondered what it would be like to intern for the World Food Programme?
Well, Emily Scammell, a student at Auburn University, had the opportunity to do just that. She spent her summer interning for WFP in the Washington, D.C. office.
Here's her story.
My hand couldn’t keep pace as I scribbled notes full of precise statistics and current locations of food distribution in Somalia. Sitting at a press conference regarding the humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa, I couldn’t believe that in front of me sat three of the most important people in United States international aid. I willed myself to fight through hand cramps in order to record each and every mention they made of the World Food Programmes’ contributions in famine relief.
Little did they know that of the note-taking enthusiasts in the crowd, one was a twenty-year-old intern at WFP, soaking up each bit of information like a sponge.
I sat in the camera-filled room, close to two months into my internship, still absolutely astonished by how many mouths WFP was helping feed.
As a hunger studies minor at Auburn University, I was not unfamiliar with the need of food in today’s world. My first two years of college were filled with attending Hunger Summits spearheaded by Universities Fighting World Hunger and participating in refugee camp simulations put on by the Committee of 19, Auburn’s War on Hunger initiative. During these two years, I developed a passion for humanitarian work and in particular, feeding the millions starving around the globe.
Arriving at WFP, I was totally unprepared for what lay ahead. My second day on the job, I hailed my first taxi, sat in a Congressional hearing with Senators I had only seen on TV, and witnessed WFP’s Executive Director, Josette Sheeran, offer graduates her words of wisdom at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies.
There is a saying that “you learn something new every day”. As an intern at the World Food Programme, I believe that saying should be revised to “you learn at least 10 new things every day whether you mean to or not”. Attending events around Washington and sitting in on meetings at the office, I learned the importance of local procurement, the complications involved in creating a new Sudanese state, and the magnitude of always having your Metro card ready when entering a Metro station.
I can truthfully say that each incredibly dedicated staff member at WFP is changing the world. Every college student hopes to see his or her work and effort make a difference to someone. During my internship, through my briefs and note-taking, I realized that my work wasn’t just affecting someone, but millions of people who were in desperate need of food assistance.
As famine in Somalia became imminent, I began to realize the importance of our generation in winning the battle against hunger. Imagining a world without hunger is what drives me as a student, a worker, and a volunteer. As young adults, we have the passion, zeal, and enthusiasm that allow us to fulfill our dreams. We may not be able to hand deliver food to refugees in the Horn, but by raising awareness in our own communities, we can be instrumental in marking hunger as a thing of the past.
Are you interested in interning for WFP? Click here for more information.