The skills Helena Shilomboleni has been building in Washington, D.C., which center on helping informed citizens influence national decision makers, are skills she hopes to take home to Namibia.
“I have really gotten interested in public policy and government work, because I think that is what is really effective,” says Helena (Li Po Chun UWC, College of the Atlantic ’09), who has been this year’s Art Simon Fellow in government relations with Bread for the World, a U.S. NGO with about 65,000 members. She has helped with Bread’s annual Offering of Letters campaign, which in 2009 supported proposed reforms to U.S. foreign-assistance policy.
“The two foreign-aid reform bills in Congress emphasize things like country ownership and community participation, rather than just the U.S. government handing things out,” she explains.
Helena hopes next to attend graduate school, then to return home to Namibia and build a career making a difference.
“I think that’s where I should be — and this is such a value to take back to my country, with all that I’ve learned here,” she says. “When you see the bigger picture, and how the world is so interconnected politically and economically, we can’t live in a vacuum.”