Robert Ngui Basil from Kenya is an APO sponsored by the Dutch Government working on HIV and gender issues in Tanzania.
"I heard about the APO Programme through a friend and it seemed a good opportunity to improve my skills and advance my career in international development.
Prior to coming to FAO, I worked for three years with UNHCR as a field consultant in the Dadaab refugee camp in north-eastern Kenya, which was an amazing experience. The influx of Somali refugees was overwhelming to the point that UNHCR could not fully meet their needs. Emergencies such as cholera outbreaks and floods would hit the camp. It was challenging and sometimes heartbreaking work.
I have studied anthropology and global health programmes, and it was through the course of my studies that I became interested in gender and its relationship with HIV/AIDS.
Part of my job at Dadaab also entailed creating awareness on HIV/AIDS issues in the camp by forming community and youth groups that advocated behaviour change. I mobilized NGOs to provide humanitarian assistance such as water sanitation, health, education and mud-brick housing.
As a camp administrator with a mandate to provide international protection, I also attended gender-based violence cases to ensure perpetrators faced the full force of the law.
Through my APO assignment, I’m providing technical support to help bring HIV/AIDS activities into agriculture projects. I’m working with other UN agencies and NGOs to encourage people living with HIV/AIDS to form groups and begin agriculture-related income-generating activities.
FAO is empowering people living with HIV/AIDS to improve their food security and thus their nutrition, which is more vital than ever when sick.
Farmer field schools are training people on labour-saving technologies and improving their skills in food growing and processing.
We’re also planning to train the government agricultural officers on gender and HIV/AIDS links to agriculture. It's incredible work."