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news | August 19, 2016 | DRC |

“Always challenges to overcome”: The testimonies of ACTED DRC staff

ACTED RDC, 2016

On the occasion of World Humanitarian Day, celebrated on August 19 every year, ACTED shares with you testimonies of field staff from around the world to honor the work of all the women and men who mobilize to support the most vulnerable populations in crisis-affected areas. Read the testimonies of Papy, Emanuel, Panrace, Yollande, Steve, Jean-Luc, and Innocent who work at ACTED DRC.

Papy works at audit and national coordination department in Kinshasa. He shares with you his story:

“My name Is Papy and I have been working at ACTED’s audit department in Kinshasa for three years. I am in charge of preparing internal and external audits for the DRC mission.

It is the desire to help others that motivated me to work in the humanitarian field. My country is still in war, especially in the east, and an organization like ACTED is here to help people who are suffering. ACTED allows to give something to those in need. Working for ACTED allows me to use all my skills and expertise in helping others: I can use my ambition in doing good.

For me, trips to the field are the most rewarding moments. It is in these moments that we meet beneficiaries and discover the problems they have to face on a daily basis. In addition, at ACTED DRC, there is a good work atmosphere and it is pleasant to work together with my colleagues.

The biggest challenge for me is to get to give people what they need and to solve their problems. It is very complicated to give water to people who are thirsty, or shelter to those who don’t have shelter. This is the work of the entire ACTED organization.”

Emmanuel, the HR and Finances deputy in Bukavu, South-Kivu, has been working at ACTED for six years. This is his story:

“I wanted to work in the humanitarian field because it is a field where we have the duty to bring assistance to the most deprived persons, especially displaced persons who are sometimes forgotten by other sectors.

On an HR and administration level, I am responsible for enforcing compliance with human resources procedures and the code of conduct. I am in charge of recruitment for South-Kivu, and for paying taxes and social security contributions on time. Concerning finance, I make sure ACTED’s logistics procedures are complied with, supervise the treasury of the office, handle accounting and manage the transfer of funds from the national coordination in Kinshasa to the base in Shabunda, from which certain projects are implemented.

The principle challenges that I have to face at work on a daily basis are to avoid corruption and to reject unwelcomed solicitations. One of the biggest problems is coping with administrative complications and to withstand them.

The most rewarding aspect of working at ACTED is the recognition of my work. I am often seen as a person of reference when it comes to solving certain social issues. My colleagues don’t hesitate to call me in these situations, which is a beautiful recognition of my work as the person in charge of HR. I would like to stay at ACTED as long as I could. It is a stable NGO where one can build a career when they do their job well.”

Pancrace is the deputy program coordinator in the Shabunda base, South Kivu. He has been working in the humanitarian field for 20 years now. He shares with you his experience:

“I started working in the humanitarian field in 1994 the following the influx of Rwandan refugees to east DRC. This line of work is not motivated by no consideration except one that is linked to the vulnerability of beneficiaries. ACTED is an organization that has to face multiple challenges. There are always challenges to overcome because ACTED goes to places nobody wants to go because they are difficult to access from a logistics and security perspective. Due to the great respect of the principle of neutrality, ACTED is one of the organizations that succeed in working in conflict zones. It is really rewarding and stimulating to participate in the preparations of our interventions in these zones of tension – particularly meeting the present forces, with whom ACTED is in constant dialogue to guarantee continued access to populations in need. In addition, thanks to ACTED, I can proudly say that I know my country as I have travelled in nine out of the 11 former provinces (the provinces have been divided again in 2015). I have been everywhere except Kasai and Bandundu. I like meeting new people, new realities and overcoming new challenges.”

Yollande shares with you her experience as the deputy awareness-raising project manager in the Libenge base, South-Ubangui.

“It has been five years since I’ve started working at ACTED. The instability in which the refugee populations and host families live in my country – due to different conflicts – motivated me to work in the humanitarian field. Since the government doesn’t have the sufficient means to aid vulnerable persons, I give them my support through humanitarian organizations. ACTED is a school; I learn new things every day.  ACTED always recognises the work of its staff.

In the beginning, when I joined ACTED, I was an awareness-raising officer. Then in December 2014, I applied to the position of deputy awareness-raising project manager and I was accepted. Despite the gap between the two positions, my manager recognized my work for the past three years and gave me this opportunity. This was very rewarding for me. Today, my work consists of helping in coordinating the implementation and monitoring of program activities. With my team, we identify the needs of populations in the area in order to be able to propose relevant projects. Then we raise awareness among the beneficiary communities so that they participate massively in the project, which ensures the success of the projects and the perpetuation of the works. Those are our biggest challenges on a daily basis."

Steve, the AME officer in charge of the ex-Katanga zone, shares his story with you:

“I have been working with ACTED for 10 years. I landed my first ever contract with ACTED DRC on the March 20, 2006, to work in the former Katanga province. Today, I am in charge of Appraisal, Monitoring and Evaluation in ex-Katanga. I am responsible for ensuring the operational follow-up of recommendations issued to project managers, leading and supervising the evaluations, producing the first analysis of the results and the first version of reports, and representing ACTED in meetings with donors, consortiums, clusters and partnerships etc.

I am passionate about humanitarian work because I get to work on the well-being of vulnerable persons. I am happy that my work serves to help my country.

What I particularly appreciate about ACTED is that it’s an organization that puts its staff in the centre. I appreciate its neutrality a lot, its administration, and its principle of transparency toward beneficiary communities.

For me, the most rewarding moments are when I see that the implemented projects were beneficial to communities.

With the volatile security context, the major challenges today for humanitarians in ex-Katanga are the rise of humanitarian needs, the inaccessibility of some conflict zones despite the increase of humanitarian needs, combined with the declining funding in certain missions."

The testimony of Jean-Luc who works at the Manono base, ex-Katanga:

“I am the deputy cash and voucher project manager. Concretely, I am in charge of food fairs and/or distribution, of agricultural recovery, and the management of information related to projects put in place by the Manono base. My role is then to assist the project manager.

I have been working at ACTED for 18 months now, and I have worked on three different food assistance projects. This is my 9th year of working in the humanitarian world. I chose to work in this sector because I am an agricultural engineer and I wanted to share my knowledge with the most vulnerable persons. ACTED helps me improve my skills and expertise, which allows me to give my best to the beneficiaries of our interventions.

The most rewarding moments of my work are those when we are able to solve problems identified by the most vulnerable families. I also like motivating and organizing the rural community so it gets to take charge.”

Innocent is a WASH awareness-raising officer in South-Ubangui. This is what he has to say :

“This would be my fourth year working in the humanitarian sector, and I am a WASH awareness-raising officer at ACTED DRC for two years now. What motivates me in this field is contributing to reducing the sufferings that certain communities are living through. There is a proverb that says “water is life.” These communities don’t have it.

I am responsible for raising the awareness of communities of the prevention of water-borne diseases, but also to identify, train and follow community support networks, water management and hygiene committees, in collaboration with local health authorities and school directors. All these committees are put in place throughout WASH projects to guarantee the best takeover by local beneficiary communities of infrastructures put in place by ACTED. We directly involve community members in the management of water points, latrines etc. My work mostly consists of ensuring that beneficiary communities are regularly informed of the project progress.

For me, the biggest challenges I have to face are helping persons with specific needs and children in difficult situation."