Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Logistics, University of South Africa (Universiteit van Suid-Afrika), Pretoria, South Africa
Afrikaans, English, Dutch
In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, my main responsibility as a logistics officer was to work with various teams to provide humanitarian aid to those affected. I will never forget the applause from the crowd when the United Nations trucks pulled in to deliver relief supplies. Their faces, full of joy and thankfulness, remain with me. That was when I knew that I made the right decision to join the United Nations six years ago.
Prior to joining the Organization, I worked in the private sector for almost two decades. From 2004 to 2008, I was a logistics manager in Tanzania, where I met United Nations peacekeepers for the first time. My direct interaction with them made me realize that working for humanitarian causes with the United Nations, a truly global organization, would be my highest possible calling. So I applied for a position in 2007 and one year later, I started working with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
Moving to Haiti was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make. Since Haiti is a non-family duty station, working in Port-Au-Prince meant being at a distance of 11,500 kilometers from my family, which was very difficult for me. But the calling to help those in desperate need eventually convinced me to go to Haiti. Thanks to the support of my loved ones, I managed to strike a balance between my job and my family.
Currently, I work in the Office of the Chief Integrated Support Services (CISS) for MINUSTAH. CISS manages and supervises the logistics, technical and operational support required by the mission. My daily responsibilities include developing and maintaining a solid information management database, coordinating ten ISS Sections, and acting as a focal point in the Office of the CISS for Board of Inquiry issues, which include budget, finance and related matters. The workload can be extremely heavy, but I love the adrenalin rush. Knowing that I have to achieve positive outcomes within a tight time frame inspires me to work better and faster. At the end of the day, it brings a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when our team achieves the best possible outcomes.
One thing I learned from my 25-year career in logistics management is that you can’t afford to fall too far behind on the latest industry developments. I am more than eager to make sure I am always improving and updating my knowledge. It would be a waste not to absorb new skills and technology in this constantly changing world; working at the UN enables me to do so. But more importantly, it allows me to experience the dynamism and complexity of cultures.