Diletta de Leonardis


1-What prompted you to apply for a position?


I have always wanted to work in the field of development. Initially, it was mainly because I enjoy helping people and love travelling. So, I studied political science and international development at Maastricht University in The Netherlands. When I learned more, I discovered that I am very passionate about development issues, such as climate change, gender equality, indigenous rights, environmental protection and many others. My volunteer experience started with a non-governmental organization (NGO) in the Dominican Republic, where I fixed buildings, taught English and provided health and hygiene advice. Then I came back to Rome to volunteer with the United Nations Inter-regional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI). These experiences, combined with my drive to work in development, pushed me to applying for an internship at the Food and Agriculture Organization on the United Nations (FAO) where I found out about the Mountain Partnership, which struck me as an interesting and stimulating alliance. I was fortunate to be accepted.

2- What are you most proud of in your work with the Mountain Partnership Secretariat?


The Mountain Partnership is the only UN alliance that promotes the sustainable development of mountain areas – its activities are unique. I also find the work important as we advocate for greater recognition of the crucial role of mountains to human life. Working for the Mountain Partnership brings me satisfactions on a daily basis as I know that the work that we do here will be recognized internationally, by the UN; nationally, by mountainous countries; and locally, by the peoples who live in mountains.

3- What does a normal day at work look like for you?


My tasks as an intern were mainly to update the content for a funding database – a platform created to allow Mountain Partnership members and the public to search for funds according to their needs – and to organize International Mountain Day (IMD). My work quickly expanded to researching donor organizations as well as seeking funding opportunities for the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, conducting photo research, updating the IMD website, drafting an IMD social media campaign, creating posts for the Mountain Partnership’s Facebook page and writing news and event announcements for the Mountain Partnership website. Having all these various and different tasks proved useful as they made my experience broader and I learned very much.

4- What advice would you give someone wishing to join as volunteer?


Believe in yourself. Know what you want. Be optimistic. Prove yourself. I think that these are the main characteristics that make an experience satisfying and successful. These have also to be carried out with the right mind set and attitude. If you care about development and environmental issues, the Mountain Partnership is the right place to be.

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