Josephine Chai ’23

Nyanam Widows Rising, Kenya

Selfie of Josephine Chai '23 with laptopNyanam Widows Rising is a non-profit organization based in Kisumu, Kenya, founded by Williams Alumnae, Jackie Odhiambo ’13 and Bethany Dixon ’15. The mission of Nyanam is to alleviate the struggles faced by widows and empower them as leaders of their communities.

As the design and video intern, I managed Nyanam’s website, created promotional graphics, and compiled and edited videos for distribution. I communicated regularly with my supervisors and the other interns on the communication, fundraising, and design teams; learned how to navigate and use the website builder, SquareSpace; and even incorporated some of my own visual ideas into the website. Since the organization was planning to rebrand themselves, I was given a lot of flexibility and creative control in making decisions on what changes we might make. This included incorporating new colors, redesigning the logo, and changing the official name of the organization from Nyanam International to Nyanam Widows Rising.

Much of the work during the first half of the summer was geared towards preparing for the annual International Widows Day celebration. I collaborated with other interns to create and design flyers and RSVP cards. In addition, I edited a video of a widow leader telling her story about her struggles and how Nyanam has made an impact. This video was shown on the day of the virtual celebration. For the second part of my internship I was able to decide what project I would like to focus on, and I decided to make a promotional video highlighting their values and mission.

Overall, interning with Nyanam Widows Rising this summer was a wonderful experience that afforded me growth in my current skill set and greater clarity in my professional path. As a graphics and video intern, I developed my skills using Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro, as well as gained valuable experience in website and brand redesign. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work in such a collaborative environment and was given the trust to make many executive creative decisions, all of which helped strengthen my communication and informed decision-making skills.

I am very grateful to David Pesikoff ’90 and the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for this opportunity! After this internship, I am prompted to explore more courses regarding global policy and public health; and possibly consider a public health concentration. I am now more certain of my future aspirations and the direction I aim to work towards.