I have learned a lot since i started as a JPO, especially in Niger, where my work is very practical, specific and pragmatic. the results of my contributions are very tangible and have a direct impact both on the lives of refugees and on unhcr’s resettlement intervention in Niger.Read more
Before becoming a JPO, I studied political science at the University of Vienna and international security at the University of Bristol. After my studies, I completed internships at Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, in United Nations agencies and NGOs. These experiences led me to my first job with the NGO Caritas as an advisor for asylum seekers and refugees, including unaccompanied minors, in Austria.
Two years later, I started working as a JPO for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Lebanon in the area of education, working on programmes to ensure that Syrian refugee children were enrolled in primary school and stayed there. After two years in Lebanon, I had the opportunity to be deployed to Niger, where I have been working for UNHCR since February 2021. In my day-to-day work, I assess the eligibility of vulnerable refugees for resettlement and coordinate information and case management with the field, resettlement countries, the IOM and other stakeholders to ensure a smooth resettlement process, from identification to the submission for departure of refugees to resettlement countries in Europe and North America.
I have learned a lot since first starting work as a JPO, especially in Niger, where my work is very practical, specific and pragmatic. The results of my contributions are very tangible and have a direct impact both on the lives of refugees and on UNHCR’s resettlement intervention in Niger. UNHCR’s operation in Niger is also special because I work not only with refugees who have entered Niger on their own but also with asylum seekers evacuated by UNHCR from Libya to Niger through the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM). These asylum seekers, the vast majority of whom are eligible for refugee status, are particularly vulnerable because of the long periods of arbitrary detention and inhuman and degrading treatment which they have suffered in Libya.
My experiences in Lebanon and Niger have allowed me to better understand the area of protection in humanitarian action and the vulnerabilities and needs of forcibly displaced people, and have strengthened my desire to continue working in this area.
What has inspired me and helped me to carry out the tasks given to me has been the patience of the Senegalese, who have a different conception of time from people in Luxembourg, for example. Time is seen more broadly and what matters most of all is today and the next day, “Inshallah”. This has led me to see time in a more relaxed way and not to be frustrated when things don’t go to plan.Read more
Before becoming a Junior Technical Assistant (JTA) at LuxDev’s Regional Office in Senegal, I studied political economics and completed a master’s in economics and environmental policy. By applying to the JTA programme, I hoped in particular to discover a new professional field as well as a different country and culture to any I had experienced previously. Professionally, I wanted to discover and have a better understanding of the development cooperation sector and the international dynamics involved. Personally, since I had not visited the African continent before, I hoped to gain a better knowledge and understanding of African values and traditions.
Currently in the LuxDev Regional Office in Dakar, I am working on the monitoring of projects and programmes, the capitalisation of the fourth Indicative Cooperation Programme (ICP IV), the formulation of the new SEN/301 programme, the drafting and implementation of the CSR plan and LuxDev’s institutional communication. I also support the office on gender and environment issues.
During my experience as a JTA, there have been several highlights, especially during field missions and meetings with final beneficiaries. These have been important in helping me better understand the activities of the projects, how development cooperation functions and what the situation is really like on the ground.
In this context, I have particularly strong memories from my first mission to collect personal stories. I went with Anna, a fellow JTA, to the northern and central areas to meet beneficiaries of two vocational training and health programmes. One of our interviews was with a person who had benefited from the Saint-Louis emergency medical assistance services. Another was with a young 27-year-old entrepreneur, who had benefited from a loan after his training that had enabled him to invest in land, which he uses for horticulture thanks to Luxembourg’s development cooperation with AJIR Niombato and the Union of Community Mutual Savings and Credit Institutions.
What has inspired me and helped me to carry out the tasks given to me has been the patience of the Senegalese, who have a different conception of time from people in Luxembourg, for example. Time is seen more broadly and what matters most of all is today and the next day, “Inshallah”. This has led me to see time in a more relaxed way and not to be frustrated when things don’t go to plan. This is just one aspect among the many things I’ve learned about Senegal and West Africa during my first year as a JTA, and which continue to be sources of inspiration.