What I do

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Let’s talk about moi for a bit! I always get blank stares when I tell people what I do, so I thought I’d explain it here. I am a project manager for a humanitarian organization. I focus on the sector of child protection.
I’m aware this doesn’t mean anything for most people! 

I could say I’m an aid worker, or, oooh a “humanitarian”, but you could imagine from that terminology that I work alongside communities in dangerous and far away regions, distributing food or counselling survivors of trafficking or that I visit refugee camps with Sean Penn or Angelina Jolie. That’s not what I do -at all!

In short, I ensure that the projects my organization funds are well designed, or technically sound, and that the money is well spent, that is to say spent in line with the planned budget. I review a lot of documents! Sometimes I get to visit the projects and I attend workshops around the projects we fund -to design projects, end projects, or analyze what worked and didn’t in the projects. These trips are the highlight of my work.

Because I work in the sector of child protection, all the projects in my portfolio have a focus on decreasing violence experienced by children. In Cambodia, we focus on sexual exploitation (trafficking and rape). In Central America, we focus on community violence (gangs, physical and emotional violence at home). In Uganda, we work against child sacrifice (yes, it exists!) and child abuse in general. In Armenia, we focus on pre-natal sex selection (sex-selective abortions). Those are all projects in my portfolio. 

I have to say I “manage” the projects from a headquarter perspective. I am not the one actually implementing the projects. We have incredible local teams on the ground who do that. I am a partner in this work and I am a bridge between donors and the project implementers -those who are actually close to the people we serve.

I feel so lucky to have this job! I love child protection and I love the humanitarian sector. It is truly my dream job –and I work on an amazing team of dedicated and passionate people. 

In the next few weeks on Wednesdays I’ll talk a bit more about some of the projects in my portfolio through the trips I have taken in the past year and a bit about the humanitarian sector more generally. I hope you'll enjoy reading about this all.

What about you: What do you do?

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