Global Politics: a UWCSEA Student’s Experience with Sanitation-focused NGO

Gowri Mohani is a UWC South East Asia student from India in her first IB year. A few months ago, in the context of the Global Politics course, she spent time with an NGO which is focused on sanitation projects and had a chance to work on a proposal for the Indian Prime Minister. Here is what she learned from this inspiring experience.

After four years at UWC, everyday I was surrounded by some of the most hard-working and driven people united by one aim; to make a difference, to leave a mark on society no matter how big. Inspired by the determination all around me I decided it was time I tried my hand at doing something I was truly passionate about.

I was granted the opportunity to work with a Singapore based NGO World Toilet Organisation (WTO). This small, charming NGO focuses on promoting sanitation as a main goal for governments and the public. The experience exposed me to the real ropes behind a successful NGO, how they gain public funding and support, how they influence governments like Cambodia, China, India and more.

What I was most grateful for was the opportunity to work on a proposal for the Indian PM Narendra Modi, where I was able to piece together all my learnings and contribute to efforts going towards my own country. I have always wanted to work with non-governmental organisations, as well as do something for India as I feel it’s important to give back to your own country. Therefore, through my internship at the WTO I was lucky enough to do both.

The environment at the organisation was created by the group of people all working towards one goal, which was much like what I experience at UWC. As I am in my first year of IB, a lot of important decisions lay ahead of me, and it’s experiences like these, as well as school Global Concerns and services which I have realised shape my own goals for the future, and have taught me that the smallest actions can go a long way. I hope to continue working with different NGOs and other organisations where am I able to be a part of the effort that is largely responsible for the change that we see in the world.”