All of a sudden I found myself back in Argentina because of my brother was getting married. Leaving behind the yoga community, the primary school, friends and nature that Kenya gave me for the past years. I started working in a small start up with local entrepreneurs in marginalized neighborhoods and did a consultancy at an innovation enterprise all in the midst of gaining more experience to go back to Kenya in the near future.
But in the middle, Atlas Corps happened and I found myself embarked on a new journey very different from the one I did in Kenya. From one extreme to the other. From Nairobi craziness to D.C. hyper organized city. At this time I had to re adapt to a new culture once again.
Professionally speaking, my fellowship couldn’t have been better. Working in the International Services Department at the American Red Cross gave me a bunch of experience that I could have never gained in other place. I managed a global program to provide Red Cross/Red Crescent around the world with the latest technology to engage with local populations by offering First Aid and Multi Hazards mobile apps. I was the responsible of engaging with the National Societies, give them training, technical assistance, customer services, reporting, monitoring and evaluating, dissemination and I even had the chance to present the program at regional events in Panama and Tunisia which helped me gain international exposure and self-confidence.
Now, going back to the initial question about, what are my plans after the fellowship? I would say that Kenya is on the top of my list. I’m doing some deep job search and already applying for some positions. At the same time, I’m reaching out work colleagues that have had previous experience in international NGOs with programs in Kenya to put me in touch with the country office and see whether if we can establish some sort of connection before I travel.
Additionally I’m talking to people within the Red Cross/ Red Crescent movement to link me up with the regional office in Nairobi and see what connections I get. Kenya’s development sector is big but at the same time everybody knows everybody so, although I hate it, will have to step out from my comfort zone and work on my networking skills. Looking for a job is actually the toughest job, but I’m willing to fight until the end to make this dream come true.
Eventually I will get a job there and will buy a piece of land near the primary school for blind kids that I used to volunteer and which I’m still engaged in several projects.
Before Kenya, I’m planning to pass by Argentina, my home country, to visit my family and friends but definitely not planning to stay there for long. I feel that I need to give Kenya another chance in my life and hopefully my experience in Atlas Corps serving at the American Red Cross will help me to better position myself as a great candidate for an international NGO in Nairobi.