Name: Viktoryia Liashchynskaya
Class Year: 2021
Major: Spanish; French and Francophone Studies
Hometown: Jacksonville, Fla.
Internship Organization: Global Fund for Children
Job Title: Advocacy Intern
Location: D.C. (Remote)
What’s happening at your internship?
I worked as an advocacy intern at Global Fund for Children (GFC), which is an organization that invests in grassroots across the world that promote children's and youth’s wellbeing. This summer, I conducted an in-depth review of 129 grassroots partners’ advocacy strategies using grantee reports, my foreign language skills, and content analysis in Excel. During the process, I spotted two partners in Sierra Leone and Kyrgyzstan with notable advocacy work and conducted interviews with their founders to develop case studies. Part of my work was also to create a resources guide about youth engagement in international and regional human rights mechanisms to be shared with GFC partners in 25 countries. This guide will grant organizations the key to advocating for human rights at the U.N. and European Union, among others.
In addition, working on COVID-19 related tasks was inevitable during my time at GFC. I participated in Spanish-language regional calls with GFC partners from across the Americas about civil society adaptations to COVID-19. Through these multiple calls, I learned more in-depth about how the pandemic is impacting children and their families in other parts of the world and the way grassroots are responding to community needs.
Why did you apply for this internship?
I was looking for an internship that would require working at the international level even at the time of the world pandemic. Global Fund for Children put to work my cultural knowledge, language skills, and my desire to improve the lives of children and their families across the world.
What is most rewarding about your internship?
Since the first year of college, my goal has always been to build on cultural knowledge and engage with people from different backgrounds. Working with a diverse team based in the Americas, Africa, Europe, and Asia was a rewarding experience. Each team member of GFC had a wide horizon of profound cultural, historical, and political knowledge about the region they’re based in. The members worked together to develop strategies on how to learn more about their partners and understand the conditions that children and their families face. The dedication of each team member to the mission of the organization and the desire to constantly learn and innovate ideas sparked in me a greater passion for children’s wellbeing and validated my career plan.
Was this internship what you expected it to be?
I started the internship with the initial focus on the Americas. First, my goal was to break down partner advocacy reports in Spanish. My knowledge of French, however, pushed me into looking at the reports in the African region. The African team was thankful that I was also able to analyze their partners’ advocacy work and include the findings in my research. Further in my internship, GFC needed a Russian speaker who could conduct an interview with an organization in Kyrgyzstan about their advocacy work. I am therefore proud to say that I used my native language skills to cooperate with the founder of the organization to develop an advocacy case study. Before starting this internship, I did not expect to be working with people on four different continents, and I am pleased that my language skills were so useful for the organization.
Visit the Summer 2020 Internships page to read more student stories.