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Marlen (left) and Julianna (right) are our newest additions to the FCDE/isla family.

Please welcome our newest members to the growing FCDE/isla family! Both of our interns will be working at our new site, Rukungiri, located in southwest Uganda. Learn more about them below.


I am a double major in Comparative Ethnic Studies and Political Science with a concentration in Global Politics at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. I decided to intern abroad in Rukungiri, Uganda with FCDE/isla because the opportunity aligned brilliantly with human rights work. Through my high school and college experiences, I have decided that international human rights work is my calling and FCDE/isla provided the perfect opportunity to reach that dream. The reason I chose this internship is because, I do not play the role of the “white savior,” and this internship allows me to partner with Rubabo Community Initiative to Promote Health in which we work together for a common goal.  There will be an exchange of ideas and processes from which we will both learn and that makes me so excited. I wish to create a lasting relationship with the locals. I love Uganda’s unique location, as it is close to animal reserves and rain forests. I have an incredible appreciation for nature and find spiritual connection when I am surrounded by it probably because I was raised in Lake Tahoe. An African proverb goes as this: “life is a shadow and a mist; it passes quickly by, and is no more.” The meaning is simply life is short. When opportunities like these arise, I must take those opportunities and endure a life with purpose.


I am studying Kinesiology at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. I chose to be an intern for FCDE/isla in Uganda because I believe being part of international work will expand my experiences and opportunities. I am most excited about working with a team that will teach me to be a better advocate for their community, meanwhile they are excited to learn things from me. I am also excited to be able to work with the Rukungiri Organization of People with Disabilities to create a sustainable project to fund advocacy for people with disabilities. I hope throughout my stay, the organization and I will formulate an effective campaign to raise awareness of how important it is to provide better access for people with disabilities. I believe everyone has equal rights and it should not be any different for people with disabilities.

As a kinesiology major, health is extremely important and I have learned that it has been a battle of its own facilitating the rights of people with disabilities. Thus, creating awareness of the needs of people with disabilities is something I can apply to my future professional goals. Working with people that may have different beliefs is something I look forward to as well. In all, I am anxious, yet excited to learn and contribute to a great cause.

Join Marlen and Julianna this summer! Still accepting applications.

Apply to be an isla intern today: www.isla-serve.org