BY NAW THADAH NIWIN | 18 JULY 2018
I did not grow up in a culture that emphasized personal values much. Instead, there were certain expectations people have of me on how I should act in accordance to my roles in my family, community, and the country I belong to. I hadn’t given much thought about what values I hold until I was asked about my very personal values. What I can now recall is that I froze and pondered for quite a while until I figured out what mine were.
Why am I talking about personal values anyway? It’s because it MATTERS. A set of values will help you determine your attitude towards certain people, issues, and how you want to spend your life. Basically, values got you where you were at, and get you where you are at, and where you want to be at.
I’m now interning at Global Alms Incorporated as a Business Administration Intern. I’m here for only a short time because I’ve got school to go back to in two months time. Why am I at this organisation instead of spending my school break at other places, or on other things? Well, it’s simple! It’s because I want to stay true to my personal values – commitment, friendship, and personal growth.
I was first introduced to Global Alms in 2012. I got to know Mechelle Moore, now Chief Executive Officer (Asia), and Ruth Lesmana, now Director of Training, through a series of Self-Defence worshops they delivered to young women and girls. I was one of the women they trained. Since then, I have constantly been able to keep in touch with them on a personal level. As their friend, I am inspired by the work they do, the lives they lead, and the changes they want to see in this vulnerable town, Mae Sot. The firm friendship and my commitment to work for the betterment of the underprivileged community were my intrinsic motivations; and the internship experience I can share with others and include in my CV were my extrinsic motivations. The above mentioned values have guided me where I am right now, and why I’m at Global Alms.
I’ve gained a lot of good insights about teamwork and community collaboration. I’ll mainly discuss these from the perspective of personal values. What I really like about Global Alms is its continuous intern and staff training to help individuals discover oneself (which I think so many people miss out on – the opportunity to figure this out – due to different reasons) so that each person knows how to best communicate with their team members. This results in a reduction of misunderstanding, a strengthening of the team relationships, and the boosting of the individual’s confidence. This reflects one of the Global Alms values – growth of its members. Again, this also confirms why I’m keen to work at Global Alms because my personal values align with their organisational values.
Another activity that Global Alms engages in is community collaboration. Global Alms does it by visiting people in the community and spending ample time to have two-way communication. I’ve observed that these visits allow us to truly know what people in the community need. Well, this is not so new, is it? The new thing I’ve found out is that these visits break the wall between us and them. On top of that, the visits by our team encourage people in the community to open up the untold and heartbreaking stories they had kept in their hearts for a long time. Acknowledging and relieving stress by telling trusted people is good for their emotional well-being. From this experience, I’ve learned that fulfilling physical needs is as beneficial as satisfying emotional needs, and the two can be accomplished at the same time; and Global Alms has proven it to me. This mirrors their purpose to really connect with people when it comes to community collaboration. I’m amazed by this incredible approach from which I have picked up practical ways to work for the community, in the community. It has been a little more than three weeks that I have been with Global Alms. I’m excited for the remaining weeks that are coming!
Always remember to match your personal values and where you are at right now. It’ll give you the answer as to why you are happy or sad with what you have on your plate.