Every year the World YWCA welcomes interns from Colgate University for three months in our office in Geneva, Switzerland. Internships at World YWCA are an opportunity to reinforce our commitment to young women’s leadership by providing young women and girls the opportunity to enhance and develop their knowledge and skills. The hands-on work with the World YWCA movement helps them gain experience in programme development, leadership, advocacy, communications, event planning, financial development and programmatic management. Working with the World Office team in Geneva, the internship provides opportunities to develop expertise on global issues particularly in the World YWCA’s global focus areas of young women engagement for peace and justice, gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive rights, amongst others.

This year we have two young women, Ellie Schonberg and Helen Ferguson, interning with us. Here are the two introducing themselves.

Ellie Schonberg



I am from a small town in upstate New York, USA. From a young age I have been inspired by powerful women (I’m talking about you, Mom!) and I can only hope that I will someday become as influential, commanding and inspirational to other young women today as the women who have inspired me have been.

As an intern at the World YWCA working with the Global Engagement and Strategic Communications team, I am specifically focusing on women’s SRHR and mental health. Although I am a political science major at Colgate University in New York, I hope to attend medical school following my time in college. The World YWCA is the perfect place for me to persue my interests in global health policy, women’s rights, SRHR and mental health. In my free time, I like to read, write, run and take the occasional photograph. As part of the World YWCA I am looking forward to researching issues related to women’s health, and I am thrilled to be doing it with and around so many amazing women!

Helen Ferguson



My name is Helen Ferguson and I am from Washington D.C., USA. I have been passionate about women’s health and rights since I started to see differences in the treatment of my classmates who were boys in grade school. In college I chose a major in Peace and Conflict and began to see how disproportionately women are affected by violence/conflict and how often women are the actors that find resolution and peace. My specific focus in Peace and Conflict studies is in violence used against women as a tactic of war by the United States in the Middle East.

As an intern at the World YWCA working with the Global Programing and Impact team, I am excited to be working on the Peace with Justice initiative as it encompasses so much of the work I am most passionate about. In the coming months at World YWCA I am excited to continue to learn and develop ideas about what peace that includes justice looks like and how such a thing can be practically achieved. I am excited to broaden my horizons and learn.