My name is Jennifer and I am the new Program Development Director for Emerge Lanka. I just arrived four weeks ago and I’m still learning a lot about Sri Lanka and our girls, but I’m really excited to be here.
First things first, a little background. I grew up in the midwest, I have a degree in Anthropology from Arizona State, and a little yappy dog back home. I spent the past couple of years with a non-profit organization called FAIR Fund, which works to prevent sexual violence and human trafficking. In 2007-2008 I moved to the former Yugoslavia, where I worked with street kids, orphans, trafficking victims, refugees, at-risk youth and young mothers. That experience has been a huge asset to me as I try to come to grips with the needs of the girls here in Sri Lanka.
My job this year will be to expand the programs, so I’m working on incorporating more business and financial skills into our curriculum, putting in place a mentorship program and life skills workshops led by local volunteers, and designing a community fund which will give the girls a chance to impact their local community. Our newest volunteer Prabhani is my partner in crime. And of course, Rachael, our Country Director is helping out too in addition to her work on the financial and legal aspects of Emerge Lanka.
So there it is! Next time I promise I’ll have something fun to write and in the meantime, keep the girls in your thoughts.