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Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

July 11, 2017

By Anna Custis

Young women smiles at camera

Ann Custis

On June 16th, Handicap International USA celebrated Handicap International’s 35th birthday with a charming little tradition they like to call Cake Day.  Three cakes were baked, icing was piped, and sprinkles were spilled all over the floor and table.  It took a sizeable team to put these cakes together. It was a bit of a messy and time-consuming process, but in the end, it came out looking and tasting pretty good.  The time and effort led to a result that everyone could enjoy. It’s much like what we do with international development, foreign affairs, disability inclusivity and more on a daily basis.

This kind of work is not easy.  Much like when we were making our cakes, working in international development and in inclusivity can be frustrating and messy.  There are tears, setbacks and obstacles to all the work that we do, but it can still be fun and rewarding. In the end, it is all worth it.  When we put our minds to something and we all work together, we can come through and make such an incredible impact for people all over the world.  It doesn’t matter how small the team is either; as long as you are dedicated and you’re willing to work hard make things happen, then it will happen.

Through USICD’s internship program, I have been given the amazing opportunity to be part of something bigger and life-changing.  Within the past month alone, I have learned more about teamwork than I have ever done in these past twenty-one years, and for that I am extremely grateful.  It is humbling to see the hard work people put into their passion for humanitarian aid and international development with my own eyes, and I hope to have more rewarding experiences like this in my future.  Oh, and more cake.

Ann Custis is a member of the 2017 cohort of the USICD Youth in International Development and Foreign Affairs internship program.  She and other USICD program interns are writing a series of blog posts about their experiences with USICD’s internship program and other topics, to be posted at this blog during the summer.  USICD coordinates the internship program, which brings a cohort of students and recent graduates with disabilities to Washington, DC, each summer to complete internships at various international organizations in the Washington, DC, area.  The internship program was enabled by funding support from  the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation(MEAF). Ann Custis is completing her internship at Handicap International USA (HI USA)  . Read the biographies of our interns in the summer 2017 program.  Or read blog posts by other current and past interns. The views and opinions expressed at this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of USICD, MEAF, or HI USA.

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