Nationality

Portugal

Education

High School Diploma, Escola Secundária Rodrigues de Freitas, Porto, Portugal

Languages

English, Spanish, French, Portuguese

The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) was established to help the country heal after a devastating civil war. I arrived in 2004, just one year after the UNMIL mandate was updated to focus on supporting the Government and organizing elections. I served as a Logistics Coordinator of the United Nations Electoral Assistance Division, which was responsible for providing overall support and advice to the Independent Liberian National Electoral Commission to ensure the smooth flow and conduct of the elections. 

 

Together, my team developed a logistics plan to ensure that all operational arrangements, such as the delivery of ballot papers and boxes and voting material, were in place throughout the country on registration day. Thanks to our efforts, 2.8 million Liberians were able to vote.

 

Currently, I am working in the backbone of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus. As the Supply Officer, I supervise 15 employees and run a warehouse that provides food, water, stationery and medical equipment to all 926 United Nations staff members at UNFICYP. Living in Cyprus is much different to living in Liberia; our role is more advisory. I feel very safe walking down the street. After work, I enjoy the serenity of the Cyprus landscape by taking a long walk, or I help my children learn a new language: English.

 

I studied English and French in school, and gained other language skills from travel and diligent study. By the age of 21, I was fluent in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

 

I was born in Angola and moved to Portugal at the age of eight during the independence revolution.  I was so young; I could not understand the war, but I could feel the fear in our Angolan community. My brother and I traveled from Angola to Portugal alone. We disembarked from the plane and were embraced by an older lady. It was frightening until she introduced herself as our grandmother. Everything was different, but I adapted quickly.

 

Learning new cultures and languages is a part of who I am. Clear communication has been essential to all of my work at the United Nations. Being able to communicate in a colleague’s native language can make all the difference in avoiding misunderstandings and misinterpretations.

 

My United Nations experience has made me a better person. Constantly being exposed to a kaleidoscope of people and different ways of understanding the world really changed me. It has made me more tolerant and understanding. At the United Nations, my preconceived ideas about the world are constantly challenged.

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