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Name:   Dorothy Jere
Position:    Programme Assistant
Duty Station:    Lusaka, Zambia
Nationality:    Zambian 

  1. What prompted you to apply for FAO?
    I had not been working for 3-4 months after resigning from a busy advertising agency as the working environment was not conducive. The position of senior secretary was advertized in the national papers and I decided to apply as I met the job requirements.   I was successful in my interviews and was offered the job and commenced to work for FAO from 4th August 1984 to date.  I discovered that FAO was implementing agriculture projects thereby giving assistance to the Zambian Government to improve the agriculture sector and at household level an opportunity for the Zambian people to improve and better their lives.  This gave me the inspiration to serve the organization with determination and integrity.

  2. What are you most proud of in your work?
    Transforming the lives of the poor people through the provision of inputs and materials.  I have witnessed the joy of poor old people, young men and women as agriculture materials and inputs, livestock are given to them and when later you visit them, they are proud to show-off how their lives have been uplifted as a result of these inputs.  I love to get results, even if it is following up a questionnaire, survey or able to come up with a programme before mission arrival.  If we all unite to work hard and give our best with integrity, the organizations goal of eliminating hunger and poverty in line with the MDGs will be achieved.

  3. What does a normal day at work look like for you?
    A typical day starts off with opening the incoming mail to check for messages needing action/response and deal with those as quickly as possible.  Thereafter continue with facilitating and taking any action relating to project operation and follow-up issues relating to project delivery, implementation and organization of workshop/study tours; monitor different Letters of Agreements; attend to different correspondence and requests within FAO – Sub-region, RAF, and HQs and if there is a mission coming, coordinate programme and appointments.  There are times when it is a really mad house, especially when workshops are organized near the Office and there are several missions visiting the country at the same time.

  4. What advice would you give someone wishing to join FAO?
    Prospective staff members should be quick to learn the FAO Rules, Regulations and procedures and embrace the people who are already employed by FAO as they have valuable experience and skills on how things are done in the organization even if they are in lower positions to the new comer.  FAO employees are from diverse backgrounds and cultures and new entrants should be sensitive to this fact. Should be willing to adapt and be a team player.   Continuous learning is very important even for career development.  One needs good communication and diplomatic skills to be able to deal appropriately with government staff at different levels, donors, NGOs and a host of other stake holders.