Khalida Parveen is a Northwest Community College student studying business at Pierce College. She is doing her internship at the Mt. Rainier Chapter of the American Red Cross. She has a dream of starting her own NGO in her home country of Pakistan. Below she writes about what she is learning about disaster preparedness and how it will help her when she returns home.
Will you tell us a little bit about the company/organization you are working for? I am interning at the Mt. Rainier chapter of the American Red Cross, a nonprofit organization. There is also a Red Cross in Pakistan, but is a different organization from the American Cross. Every country has their own and the different national organizations are separate, but all run similarly and depend on volunteers.
What made you chose to do your internship at the Red Cross and what kind of job skills are you devloping? Pakistan has many nonprofit organizations, and I have a dream of opening an NGO. I am inspired by the work they do.
Disaster preparedness is the main thing that I am learning, and that is especially helpful because of the area that I live, as a disaster could happen at any time. I am also developing communication skills as I am working at reception where I work with donors and I am able to communicate with them.
What’s the best thing about working for The Red Cross? The people are very friendly and they want to teach me a lot before I go home and they encourage me to do projects. When I finish small things they appreciate me a lot which gives me more courage to do the work…and sometimes I get free lunch.
What is one thing you have learned that will be useful when you return home? It may seem like a small thing but, the disaster preparedness skills are very helpful. We live in area where disasters can happen at any time and we are never ready. Now I know how to make disaster kits, and to be prepared. I am learning other things, but this is unique.
Anything else you want to add? I am very inspired by the elderly retired adults and also the young people who volunteer while being students. The American Red Cross offers many types of classes that help people be safe, not just disaster relief or preparedness. CPR is one example.
I want to thank the U.S. Department of State and the American Red Cross for this opportunity.