Nationality

DR Congo

Education

Secondary School Diploma, Institute Sainte Marie, Kisangani, DR Congo

Languages

English, French, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Lingala, Tshiluba

I have always had a heartfelt wish to contribute to peace and development in the world. My father worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Uganda and I grew up wanting to follow in his footsteps.

Added to that was the suffering I saw around me from my childhood: the extreme poverty, and of course, the subsequent regional war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – which brought suffering to thousands of innocent people. This really affected me, and was the reason I started to look for an opportunity to volunteer my services in the cause of peace.

When the United Nations peacekeeping mission was set up in my country in 2000, I was working with a commercial airline in Kisangani. I happened to come into contact with the manager of a firm, which was a United Nations international contractor involved in handling services at Bangoka International Airport in Kisangani. He had observed my dedication to my work and my multiple language skills: that was the beginning of my United Nations career story.

Two years after serving as a United Nations contractor, I was recruited in 2004 as a National Staff member by MONUC - one of the largest United Nations peacekeeping missions. It supports the Democratic Republic of the Congo in a range of efforts: strengthening the capacity of the judicial and correctional systems as well as democratic institutions; and assisting in the promotion and protection of human rights, with particular attention to women, children and vulnerable persons.

I serve as a Movement and Control Clerk in the Movement Control Section: a very important unit within Integrated Support Services, which manages logistics in United Nations peacekeeping missions. The Section facilitates transportation - by air, road and sea – in Mission areas and out of the Mission. I am based in Kindu, a main hub for flight connections to the eastern sectors of the Mission - Kisangani, Bukavu, Katanga and Goma.

Generally, my days are occupied with check-in procedures and cargo preparations. The position requires a background in aviation and logistics, and you must have people skills. Added to that, you have to be very professional and follow aviation rules and regulations. The Organization does not compromise the safety of its flights. For instance, a non United Nations passenger carrying a gun cannot travel on our flight unless there is authorization from the Director of Mission Support. After security checks, the gun is packaged in a box and handed over to the cabin crew.

On average, we handle about five flights a day. They could be carrying troops on rotation, repatriation, mission personnel or high-level officials on tours of the Mission. Non-governmental organizations as well as other international organizations may also travel on our flights.

Working in Kindu has its own challenges: it is a very hot climate, with the temperature averaging about 50 degrees Celsius (122 degree Fahrenheit). Very often, the heat will cause the generators to fail, leaving us without power: we have to do manual check-ins and each piece of luggage has to be hand searched, causing delays in other security screenings and departure times.

The customer care part of the job is my favourite: I enjoy providing the service and the daily interaction with people from all walks of life.

It has also been a great learning experience: I have acquired skills in operating several aviation equipments, check in systems and advanced computer skills through trainings provided by the Organization and by working with different professionals.

Prior to joining the Organization, I worked for about four years for three different regional commercial airlines as Air Traffic Agent and in customer service.

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