IntelliTeam Reflections and Thoughts from Victoria Nyanjura’s Presentation
Mark Michaelis, IntelliTect CEO, and Phil Spokas, VP of Professional Services, recently traveled to East Africa to visit a portion of IntelliTect’s philanthropy sites. Given that it’s not feasible for the full IntelliTeam to travel as a group to East Africa, IntelliTect organized a presentation with International Justice Mission (IJM) in the office shortly after Mark and Phil returned.
IntelliTect strives to end injustice and poverty. Sharing this mission through opportunities such as IJM’s presentation with employees is crucial. Our team members’ passionate hard work and innovative excellence allow us to continue our giving.
According to their 2021 Year In Review, in 2021, IJM teams and their partners rescued 9,967 victims from violence and oppression.
IJM is one of the few organizations in the world that is strategically working to fight for justice, not only by freeing those in captivity, but also by establishing laws that protect those who might otherwise have been vulnerable to future persecution.
Mark Michaelis, IntelliTect CEO
The IntelliTeam took full advantage of listening to Victoria Nyanjura speak about her experiences with gender-based violence. Victoria is a human rights advocate and survivor of Lord’s Resistance Army abductions. She works to amplify the stories of other survivors across the globe and educate others about the injustices people face every day.
After giving the IntelliTeam time to reflect on Victoria’s story and our work with IJM, some selected to share their thoughts.
Why did you choose to attend Victoria’s presentation?
“I’m interested in IntelliTect’s philanthropy work and how we give back. Victoria’s presentation provided a unique opportunity to see the work we’re doing worldwide because we normally don’t get to see that first-hand. It was important to hear from the people we’re helping.”
Jenny Curry, Software Engineer
“I’m familiar with living through hardships and wanted to learn about someone else’s story. The work IJM does is compelling. Support and education can both be impactful and go hand in hand, but you can’t choose which is more crucial when you don’t know the circumstances of the place you’re moving to or living in.”
Hewr Tarkhany, Software Engineering Intern
“Mark’s visit to Africa and his encounter with the gender-based violence while there piqued my interest. The opportunity to hear first-hand was not to be missed. I remember hearing about a lot of it when it was happening. It was horrifying to realize this was going on.”
Tom Clark, Senior Software Engineer
How did Victoria’s presentation impact your view on IntelliTect’s philanthropy?
“As cliché as it may sound, it was mind-blowing. To hear the impact and know that this is just ONE of the companies IntelliTect gives to was incredibly moving. I’ve always known Mark & Elisabeth have a passion for philanthropy but seeing and hearing this first-hand from someone being impacted painted a completely different picture and perspective.”
Stephanie Perko, Office Manager
“It reaffirmed my view that we are truly helping people (who are) suffering in unimaginable ways.”
Reese Hodge, Software Engineer
“I grew up on a farm without much and received help from UNICEF, an organization like IJM. I know the importance of help from outside sources. When your past is hard, and your present is hard, it isn’t easy to imagine a future. IntelliTect and IJM are extremely impactful.”
How did IJM’s presentation affect your view on the value of your work?
“No matter what project I’m working on here, I can affect positive change in the world just by coming in and doing my job. It’s one thing to hear thirdhand about the effects we are making but quite another to hear someone like Victoria speak. She is courageous. Also, I appreciated hearing her say that we must all be proud of ourselves for our work.”
“It’s very endearing for me because I’ve now been on both sides of the equation: both needing help and now helping. I am happy at IntelliTect, and the time passes quickly because I enjoy the work. Through educating us, IntelliTect helps us to motivate those around us.”
“It showed me how much adversity can move you forward and up. Using those experiences, whether in the workplace or, in Victoria’s case, a horrific experience, you can still use them to advocate for yourself and speak out when necessary.”
What is your biggest takeaway from IJM’s presentation, and why?
“By helping one person, there is a major ripple effect. A person like Victoria is given support (and a voice), and she, in turn, starts programs to help others as well. She helps other survivors find their voices as well. It’s putting this verse into a real-life example: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
“Education is the key to ending extreme poverty and suffering in general. When I asked Victoria what made her decide to speak out, she said the main reason was education.”
“None of us are truly powerless. Words have meaning. Her story is an example of not allowing yourself to be silenced. Her words give strength to others both in her native country and the powerless in our own country and elsewhere in the world.”
Anything else you’d like to add about IJM or IntelliTect’s philanthropy?
“I would love if IntelliTect continued to donate to this cause and others that impact people taken advantage of or vulnerable due to their economic and social status.”
“I’ve always known Mark and Elisabeth do a lot of homework on the philanthropy projects (and) programs they embrace and support. I’m impressed that IJM discussed how much of the money donated goes directly to the people it’s helping. Victoria wanted to make sure it was clear.”
“IJM’s mission is a good one and is, sadly, probably a never-ending one. Of course, our resources remain limited, but at least on the face of it, we should continue to invest time making sure they stay on point for their stated mission.”
If you’re curious about the other organizations we partner with, look at our philanthropy stories. For more information on IJM, check out our 2021 philanthropy recap.
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