Henrik F. Jenssen

Facilitator, Ecuador Office, WE

Speaking about the impact he saw during his time at WE, Henrik said,

Having worked as an in-country facilitator for close to two years I’ve had the privilege of getting to personally know the people whom our projects directly benefit. Because of that, I’ve not only seen the physical change, such as a school building coming up, but how someone’s understanding of themselves and their opportunities in life can change tremendously with it.

Describing his experience at WE, Henrik reflected,

A day in the life at WE is never boring. Particularly, the job as a facilitator is an everlasting adventure where the learning curve rarely flattens out and one can develop skills that, without doubt, prepare you for an exciting future. The days can be long and the work can be tough, but what you get back, in terms of work achievements, personal relationships and skills, is unparalleled.

Looking back on what he was most proud of working on during his time at WE, Henrik said,

While it is clear that WE’s work has massive impacts on the beneficiaries, the local people in the communities we work in, it has been beyond fascinating to see how we’ve been able to have an impact on our volunteers as well. Having had the privilege of facilitating trips for everyone from young families to companies, I’ve been able to accompany all types of people as they visited our lodge in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest. While there, I’ve experienced how people’s outlook on the world and their own appreciation for their own life have completely changed. And, as a result, how they’ve become invigorated about seizing opportunities and working toward a better world, be it for the neighbors or people in a distant country. It’s near impossible to describe how it feels to have been a part of changing someone’s appreciation for life and the world around them.

Looking back on what’s changed during his time at WE, Henrik said,

When you spend your time meeting people who want to make the world a better place, be it my WE colleagues or the volunteers who come to visit our projects, and the beneficiaries of the projects, it is difficult not to change one’s approach to the world. Particularly when you hail, like myself, from a comfortable Northern European country, your understanding of one’s opportunities and one’s ability to affect one’s surroundings change quite drastically.

Thinking about his most memorable impact of his work, Henrik reflected,

It nearly impossible to say, as one’s work is so multifaceted, spanning colleagues, volunteers, beneficiaries and one’s actual work. However, as an in-country facilitator in Ecuador, I think our work with the women from our women’s groups will forever be the most memorable impact. Having been able to personally witness them, and particularly the younger women, change their understanding of their self-worth and potential future, and a behavior to match it, will forever serve as motivation for me. The importance of hearing a young Quichua lady introduce herself in English and proclaim that she intends to go to university, although her mother didn’t even go to high school, cannot be described.

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