Movement Spotlight: Shwetha Ganesh

a recent story from our movement

Posted by Audrey Tetzeli on June 17th, 2019

Operation Broken Silence may be a small organization, but with the help of our awesome movement, we’re able to make big waves to empower the people of Sudan. Some of the most involved and enthusiastic members of our movement can be found across the country!

Shwetha Ganesh is a student at the University of Southern California and serves as the Finance Director for Model United Nations of Southern California. We first met her in 2017 when she was a high school student participating in Tennessee Governor's School For International Studies. She says:

"I am in college at the University of Southern California on the other side of the country from Memphis. I'm part of the Model United Nations of Southern California (MUNSC), USC's premier MUN team. Our club hosts an annual high school conference, Southern California Model United Nations (SCMUN). We have a cause every year, meaning we choose an NGO, non-profit, or other organization that is doing humanitarian work on an international level, reflecting the nature of the conference. for the delegates attending to donate towards. As the Director of Finance of our club, I was tasked with choosing which organization we wanted to feature. Remembering my experiences with OBS, I knew that this was a great opportunity for not only OBS but also for our club to contribute to something meaningful. 

I think it is important to remind students of the greater purpose in participating in Model UN conferences. Many students often get caught up in the competition aspect, so I think it's valuable to ground them and show a cause in which international cooperation can truly make an impact. A lot of MUN competitors are often international relations majors or something of the likes, so the lessons that they learn in the classroom and through MUN will help them create a lasting impact on the world."

Photo: Shwetha Ganesh (left) and our Development Director Audrey Tetzeli (right) at the Crews Center for Entrepreneurship in Memphis, TN. 

Shwetha and her Model UN peers asked us for some help to introduce our cause and Sudan to the high school students. She says: 

"We asked OBS for a few videos and promotional content that we could show to each committee. We made a brief presentation that included two videos- one featuring the education program in Yida Refugee Camp, and the other the trailer for the Heart of Nuba film about the hospital. During the conference, we went into each room and showed our presentation to the high schoolers. Going in, we had to understand that high schoolers don't have jobs or a source of income apart from what their family/guardian gives them, so we have to work within those limits. We placed a mason jar in each committee room and every few hours, we would check the jar to see how much progress we had made and encouraged people to donate. Towards the end of the conference, we set up incentives to donate such as having the committee chairs sing a song or do a dance or even get pied in the face (all of which happened). Our initial goal was to raise $1,000 dollars, and we were ecstatic that we exceeded."

Shwetha's conference had an incredible turnout and raised over $1,600 for the Endure Primary and Renewal High Schools in Yida! Thank you to Shwetha and her peers for using your talents and community to empower Sudanese students and teachers!

Whether your are part of a campus group or just want to get some friends together to host an event, you can email me at atetzeli [at] operationbrokensilence [dot] org and I can help you get started!

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The people of Sudan are overcoming two of the greatest challenges facing humanity today: war and genocide. Operation Broken Silence is accelerating their ability to generate lasting change by funding storytelling and movement-building, education and emergency response, and grassroots advocacy programs. Here are a few ways you can join us:

1. Give Monthly To The Education In Yida. The Renewal is our unstoppable family of monthly givers who never stop fighting for change. They give automatically each and every month to the two schools we sponsor in Yida Refugee Camp, providing consistent support to 24 teachers and nearly 1,100 students from the Nuba Mountains. Right now, the schools are short about $2,500 in monthly funding. LEARN MORE »

2. Become A Fundraiser. If you can’t give monthly right now, you can start an online fundraising page for the schools in Yida or Mother of Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains warzone. BECOME A FUNDRAISER »

3. Give Once. Not ready to commit with a monthly gift or fundraising yet? That’s okay, making a one-time gift is the best next step to get your feet wet! GIVE HERE »

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