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Visit brings our impact home

Connie’s loving her Shillington Design Safari adventure here at St Jude’s.
Learning together: Connie with Vivian and other St Jude’s students, enjoying a book.
Learning together: Connie with Vivian and other St Jude’s students, enjoying a book.

I just came from a home visit to meet the student newly-sponsored by Seesaw (the wonderful graphic design and branding geniuses who have partnered with St Jude’s to help us achieve our new look on a pro-bono basis). She’s in Grade 1 and doesn’t speak much English yet, but I communicated with her by drawing pictures of trees and animals in the window condensation, eliciting some smiles. It was pouring outside which created pools in the dirt roads, but after a bumpy ride, the student, the translator, Mzee, and I made it. 
 
Seeing the mother swelling with pride over her daughter going to St Jude’s was a beautiful experience. It showed me that her education matters not just abstractly the way it might for you and me but in a way that will completely change and uplift the family. (She’s already passing on information by tutoring her younger sister.) There’s hope in the mother’s eyes when her daughter shares her aspirations to become a doctor but not without the recognition that it’ll be hard work which she makes clear to me.

Family matters: Vivian’s family, during Connie’s recent visit to their home.
Family matters: Vivian’s family, during Connie’s recent visit to their home.

As a designer, it’s a unique experience to see the direct impacts of the organisation I’m working with. Normally, I finish a project and move on to the next without much feedback beyond a short email. Working on location at St Jude’s has been completely different from working remotely in Melbourne—I see the full life cycle of St Jude’s mission when I work with interns who have graduated from the school. Their stories of rising out of extreme poverty to receiving acceptances into international universities are almost unbelievable. 

Learning together: Connie with Vivian and other St Jude’s students, enjoying a book.
Learning together: Connie with Vivian and other St Jude’s students, enjoying a book.

Working here as a designer, there’s not much to complain about. Both my Australian and Tanzanian co-workers have welcomed me heartily. Since we’re all here as part of a bigger vision, the collaboration is natural. Plus, it’s a new and valuable opportunity to work within a marketing team instead of a group of designers. When working on a design team, the importance of look is elevated, but being here exercises my skills on clarity and function in relation to our target audience more so than anything else. The lesson of communicating with co-workers who have skills outside of design in order to reach a common goal has been invaluable, and I’ve only been here for a few weeks. I can’t wait to keep learning, to keep seeing the success of the students, and to keep designing.

ou too can have a working adventure at St Jude’s! We’re currently looking for enthusiastic, talented people to help us spread the word, so consider applying today.

To make sure parcels arrive and incur no expenses for the school

  • Please do NOT register or insure any mail as it costs the school at least USD $25 in taxes at our end.
  • Mark all parcels as being “second-hand goods” or “personal gifts”.
  • Ensure the description of goods written on the parcel matches the actual items inside as customs and postal staff frequently inspect contents of parcels.
  • Please label all parcels clearly with the first and last name of the recipient and your full name.
  • Please put the value of the package at no more than US$10 (the lower the better).
  • Ensure that your parcel is LESS THAN 2KG. We have been advised that parcels less than 2KG are technically tax-free regardless of content, but this is not guaranteed by all postal workers.
 

Tax-free items include books, personal goods and anything that is not new. Used goods, used clothes, etc…(please remove labels and packaging from all items before sending them)

Keep in mind that parcels sent by airmail can take up to four months to get here (sea mail is even longer – often 12+ months!), so don’t worry if it takes a while for us to let you know the parcel has arrived.