Continuing with the NGO Spotlight Interview Series, the following is an interview of Miss Jorgenson, a representative from Operation Smile. You can access the original interview here.
T-Fish: The Transparent Fish is committed to providing free technical, marketing, fundraising, and management consulting services to help NGOs. Today, it’s our honor to have Miss Julia Jorgenson, the program development coordinator from Operation Smile.
Miss Jorgenson: Hi my name is Julia Jorgenson, and I work for Operation Smile here in Beijing. I do development work for China.
T-Fish: What made you go into this work?
Miss Jorgenson: I started when I was young. My mother was very much into volunteering, so I started working with her when I was young. When I was 18, my first year in college, hurricane Katrina hit in New Orleans, and my brother and I both got involved in volunteering work.
T-Fish: So how did you end up in Operation Smile?
Miss Jorgenson: I just moved here to China just to find any sort of job. My brother works for Operation Smile as a program coordinator, so I met him and some other volunteers, and I went with them with their medical missions to India. That was my first experience with them.
T-Fish: What did you learn from working with Operation Smile?
Miss Jorgenson: Oh, gosh, many things, you learn a lot about people and you learn a lot about yourself. I mean, I learned so much about what it takes to help people, but as much as I feel I help people, sometimes I feel like actually the people I work with, the people I help with, they actually help me in many ways too.
T-Fish: What’s the greatest gain from working with NGOs?
Miss Jorgenson: I think the greatest gain with me personally would be perspective change; you view the world sort of differently because you interact with so many different kinds of people, and do so many different things. Being with Operation Smile offered me so many opportunities to really change the way I view [things].
T-Fish: So can you introduce us to the work you will do with Transparent Fish in Lanzhou?
Miss Jorgenson: So what we are going to do is a medical mission, so we will do about 100 surgeries over there. We are very excited to go work with Transparent Fish, to follow the patients like how you all follow the patients on your platform, we are really excited.
T-Fish: What are your perspectives on NGOs in China?
Miss Jorgenson: I think NGOs in China are a very unique situation, because they are relatively new compared to some more developed NGOs, say like in the US. But it’s growing and growing in China. We know that there’s the issue about transparency; is the money really going to what you are sending it to, but I really think China’s great place for NGOs because it’s such a big country and there are so many things can be done, and the Chinese people are becoming more and more involved at an individual level.
T-Fish: What would you say to the youth in China about philanthropy work?
Miss Jorgenson: Ah, I work with a lot of high school, college students here in China. I’m really excited to see how so many Chinese students really want to get involved and engaged in non-profit work. I think, like I was saying for me, there is so much perspective to be gained from working with people, just how you view. So I think for young people, NGOs are non-profit; there are challenges; it’s different than other sectors; but overall very very rewarding. And you need to be really passionate about the NGO you work with, and go for it.
T-Fish: Thanks so much to Miss Jorgenson for sharing about Operation Smile, and we hope more and more people come to care about children who are in need.
Interview transcribed by Tfish staff Shishi Ma, edited by East Villagers Intern Sarah Chang.
TFISH FUND BLOG
We update news and reports directly from the field written by our NGO partners daily.
PHOTOS & VIDEOS
IN THE NEWS