Sahiyo staff spotlight: Development coordinator Shelby Smith

Shelby joined Sahiyo US as an intern with the Development Team in June 2021, and transitioned into the role of Development Coordinator in September 2021. She is currently a graduate student at Cleveland State University studying Applied Social Research. Shelby is passionate about female-founded organizations and is excited for the opportunity to contribute to Sahiyo’s mission.

1) When and how did you first get involved with Sahiyo?

I started with Sahiyo US in June 2021 as a development intern. In September 2021, I transitioned to the role of Development Coordinator. I’m thrilled to be working with the Sahiyo team! 

2) What does your work with Sahiyo involve?

 As the development coordinator, I research grants and funding opportunities to support our programs, activist retreats, and general operating expenses. I help with the writing process when submitting grant proposals and create monthly campaign emails to help ensure that Sahiyo has the monetary resources to carry out their mission.  

3) How has your involvement with Sahiyo impacted your life? 

Before working with Sahiyo, I was unaware of FGC and the impact on women and girls around the world. I have been involved with previous support groups for survivors of sexual violence on college campuses, and I have enjoyed working for an organization like Sahiyo that speaks out against violence. I love working with a team that has a passionate spirit and uplifts the voices of other women. Sahiyo has such a loving and supportive community that I feel truly honored to be a part of.  

4) What words of wisdom would you like to share with others who may be interested in supporting Sahiyo and the movement against FGC? 

The Sahiyo staff and volunteers are constantly challenging social norms, speaking out against FGC, and continuously proving themselves to be an organization that fulfills their goals. Sahiyo reminds me that there are people out there who care about ending violence against women (FGC specifically) and execute their goals in such a creative and powerful way. 

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