Nationality

DR Congo

Education

Post-Graduate Diploma, Development Sciences and Techniques, Kinshasa Catholic Faculties, DR Congo

Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Pedagogy, National Teachers Training University College, Kinshasa-Binza, DR Congo

Bachelor’s Degree, Labor Management, University College of Labour Sciences, Kinshasa, DR Congo

Languages

French, English, Lingala, Kikongo, Swahili

Growing up in a modest family in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), I wanted to join my country’s military. I had a deep appreciation for their spirit of sacrifice and service in maintaining peace. Then, as a student, one of my teachers always said we should be prepared to become ‘citizens of the world’.

Twenty years later, in July 1999, a United Nations Mission was set up in my country to monitor the implementation of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement signed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and six regional States - Angola, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. I saw the opportunity to pursue my interests to contribute to peacekeeping and becoming an international civil servant.

My first job with the United Nations was in 2004. I was hired as a contractor by the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) to accompany Military Observers monitoring the security situation. I served as a local guide and a translator for the ‘Blue Helmets’ and facilitated their contacts with local authorities in Kinshasa.

The turning point for me came one year later. I took the United Nations security examination and went on to become a National Supervisor in the Guard Force Management Unit, working at various locations including the Security Information Cell at the Mission Headquarters in Kinshasa. Together with other colleagues, we worked to provide security for United Nations staff and property, and monitored the daily security situation in the Mission area.

My big breakthrough, however, was when I joined the United Nations Operations in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) in 2006 as an international staff member. UNOCI had replaced the former United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire, a political mission set up in May 2003 to facilitate the implementation of the peace agreement signed by the Ivorian parties.

Often, I am deployed as a protection security officer for high level United Nations officials and special delegations visiting rebel held territory. A typical day starts with a security check and the sending of reports on the situation to our superiors. Then, I am tied to very high frequency radio to track movements of staff in the field, follow up on administrative work and keep in touch with colleagues to keep them informed on security matters.

Working in the field can be challenging and stressful, yet ultimately rewarding. Once I was called in on a Sunday afternoon to assist some members of the local population around the Bouake Airport in the eastern part of the country. Their homes had caught fire and we had to mobilize all of our services to evacuate them to safety. At the end of the operation, the people applauded and cheered us. The incident remains an unforgettable moment because we felt useful – we had saved lives.

Recently, I was assigned by the Department of Safety and Security in New York to Pakistan as a Surge Security Officer for two months. The United Nations is assisting internally displaced people in the North West Frontier Province in Peshawar. I ended up helping to set up the Security Information and Operations Centre there to enable us to both track United Nations staff working in the field and keep them informed about security issues.

It was quite thrilling to share knowledge with other colleagues. It was equally exciting to see how international staff, from different United Nations Agencies look for ways to support each other and get together for leisure activities in such stressful environments.

Traveling and meeting people from all over the world with various backgrounds is very enriching. The experience of working in a multicultural environment is unique. I must also add that respect for diversity, team work and communication, are solid values I acquired at the United Nations.

I take deep pride in being part of the greatest and most prestigious world organization. To have the chance to contribute to global peacekeeping is something I have always dreamed of doing.

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