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Name:   Faith Queen Katembu
Position:   Gender and HIV/AIDS Officer
Duty Station:   Nairobi, Kenya
Nationality:   Kenyan

  1. What prompted you to apply for a position at FAO?
    Even though I did not know much about FAO, I wondered what the experience of mainstreaming gender in agriculture would be like.  I told myself that I had enough experience of talking about women empowerment and advocating for their rights and representation and now wanted some practical life changing experience work which would lead to transformation of men and women and their livelihoods improved.  When FAO Kenya advertised for this position, I went for it and for sure, it is what I wanted.  Talking to men and women about gender and HIV issues in agriculture gives me satisfaction, because the issues are real.interest in FAO began when I was a university student and was granted the opportunity to spend a day as a trainee simultaneous interpreter during the FAO Council.

  2. What are you most proud of in your work?
    The support I receive from FAO senior management team and from my colleagues makes me feel that the work we are doing is adding value to the organization.  The day to day talk in the office and request for technical support by team members gives me joy to know that gender issues are getting integrated in FAO Kenya.

  3. What does a normal day at work look like for you?
    When I am in the office, my day begins very early. I report for work very early to avoid traffic and to work on major issues when am fresh (in the morning).  I read and respond to mails, review documents (proposals, reports) from colleagues and partners (for gender responsiveness), meetings, writing back to office reports (BTOR) and planning for the next field mission.  My work entails a lot of traveling for monitoring implementation and backstopping missions.

  4. What advice would you give someone wishing to join FAO?
    FAO Kenya does not have the “honeymoon experience”; where you are given time to acclimatize.  Once you are inducted, you are expected to hit the ground running.  This means that you have to be a fast learner and integrate well with the staff so that they can give you support.  FAO Kenya has great staff, very intelligent and exercise team spirit, if the new staff is a team player, you benefit a lot from their wealth of experience.  Lastly, ASK! ASK! ASK! Ask questions where you do not understand.  FAO Kenya is a great place to work and the staff are great.  However, there is too much and sometimes we have the problem of work life balance – but if one is looking for a better place to work, where you are motivated to work and you don’t have to be pushed,  then FAO Kenya is the place.