Bachelor of Arts Degree in Architecture, Columbia University, New York, United States
French, English, Bambara
As a child, I was often unsatisfied with the difficult living standards that many of us faced in the developing world. I wanted to be an architect to build schools, hospitals and bridges, thinking that such apolitical solutions would perhaps be our best path to development. However, after studying and practicing architecture years later, I quickly realized that the difference I wanted to make in Africa and other parts of the world could not be reached through architecture alone. My curiosity in finding solutions to the problems of the developing world sparked an interest in international development in me - especially in the work of the United Nations.
Growing up in West Africa, I could not avoid noticing the tremendous support the UN brought to many vulnerable communities recovering from conflict in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and most recently in my homeland, the Côte d'Ivoire. Eager to trigger social change in some of the most vulnerable parts of the world, I joined the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the weeks following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
In this demanding yet rewarding capacity, I led various initiatives introducing an innovative use of information technology to reach and engage the most vulnerable youth. I drew upon my own experiences as an activist in the Côte d'Ivoire to help empower young people all across Haiti and to encourage them to voice their opinions and strive for positive change. In less than four years, I was able to expand this new youth development approach to Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Haiti and Kenya with the support of local governments and private sector companies. My close collaboration with these governments to develop policies pertinent to the survival and rights of children helped me appreciate the importance of law and public information as powerful vehicles for advocacy and social change.
Today, I have the amazing opportunity to work as a Public Information Officer in the Central African Republic. I strive to play my part in the stabilization of the nation, which has been gripped by sectarian violence since March 2013. Our Mission has a mandate to support the political process in the Central African Republic and to help the nation work towards a sustainable peace. This challenging position has allowed me to delve into the complexity of conflict resolution and peacekeeping. I am able to witness first-hand the tremendous role that the United Nations plays in the promotion and protection of human rights and the restoration and the development of a country.
Through my work, I have the unique opportunity to pursue my passion for social justice, and contribute to the development of Africa and other parts of the world - not through the architecture of buildings, but rather through the architecture of the institutions that govern societies.