Many of you know me as Lindsay K. Saunders, in Raleigh, North Carolina, devoted to communication, storytelling, and outreach, but also activism. I hope you also know that I am someone deeply devoted to making a difference through the work I do.
But what you, may wonder, is the change?
I am making a large career shift as I pursue my dream to serve my country by working for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). For those of you not familiar, USAID is the United States Government agency which is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid. It is the oldest foreign assistance agency in the country, having been founded by President John F. Kennedy on November 3, 1961.
Moving to Zambia
While I have deeply enjoyed my time working as a Communications Specialist with the NC Department of IT with an incredible team, this is an opportunity I cannot pass up. Making the move to work for USAID at the Embassy of the United States, Lusaka, Zambia is an astounding opportunity. This is an amazing dream come true to put my advocacy and communications work together.
Starting with USAID Soon
I’m sure you’re wondering when all this starts and ends? I’m getting to that…
I will leave Raleigh, North Carolina on October 25th to arrive on my own in Lusaka, Zambia by October 27th with intention to start my new job as a Development Outreach Communication Specialist with USAID on October 30, 2017.
This is a USAID contract for one year from date of appointment with an option to extend for up to four additional years. During this time, I will work closely with the Senior Development Outreach Communications Specialist to manage and support outreach efforts on behalf of the United States in country and to report back to the government stateside.
My work will have me working with the Program Office and technical teams to manage and develop the production of strategic planning and reporting narratives. Some of my duties will include the Mission’s Annual Performance Plan Report, Operational Plan, budget tracking and narratives, and the review and editing of internal and external programming documents. I would be one of the people creating briefing pieces and fact sheets for citizens and government leaders, both in the United States and abroad.
When I return, I will be able to give firsthand stories about what work is being done on the ground. One of the things I’m most excited about with this job is getting to go out into the field and visit sites that I’ve imagined or read about, get stories from people USAID works with and for, and also the opportunity to challenge myself and and grow.
Making the Ask for Support
I have started a GoFundMe to offset transitional costs for traveling to and getting settled in Zambia. Would you consider supporting me? Once I am settled and begin my work with the Embassy, I will be able to sustain myself financially. As you can imagine, there are many costs associated with moving across the world!
I would be immensely grateful to anyone who is willing or able to give or even share this fundraiser, in any capacity. Will you support me?
The support from this fundraiser will mean I can take this next step in my career and goal to contribute to the service of the United States; support partnerships with countries in the nearby regions, specifically Zambia; make a difference at home and abroad; and personally witness and aid in the anti-poverty programs which USAID supports.
My Story Continues…
Maybe you read the op-ed I got published in March about Seeing the Fruits of U.S. Aid, Fearing the Toll of Cuts? It was circulated across the country! I was proud to share that inspiring story of what I was able to learn and share there, as well as since returning. Living and working abroad has long been a dream of mine, but the people of Zambia were so kind, warm, and welcoming when I visited with RESULTS in February. Not only that, but they were so hard-working and driven to see their own communities make progress.
I applied for this job in 2016, before I went to Zambia with RESULTS, but that incredible experience has motivated me even more.
I want to put the skills I’ve learned with RESULTS, professional experience, and pursue my goal to work to make a difference. I hope you’ll share that with me, no matter where you are.
You may watch my blog, where I will post updates from time to time. This summer I got personal writing about and creating a couple videos of how advocacy and laser talks are a personal application of my educational background.
Let’s Stay in Touch
Part of the way I will share my experience living abroad and the great work USAID is doing is to put together an email newsletter for my friends, family, and supporters though. Make sure I have a good email address for you and you will get to share in this. I will do all I can to put all of your giving to the best use I am able with deep gratitude from the bottom of my heart.
If you’d like to reach out directly, my personal email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and you’re welcome to follow me on Instagram and Twitter via @LindsayKelleyS