We are the “Atlas Corps, the team of Leaders!”

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Good Evening! My name is Machien Luoi, an Atlas Corps fellow from South Sudan and will be serving with BRAC USA in New York City.  I am honored and humbly stand before you to speak on my behalf and of Atlas Corps Fellowship Class 13, which has members from Japan, Pakistan, India, Philippines, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Malawi and Panama.

Before I could proceed with the purpose that brought me to this podium, allow me to acknowledge the presence of our Ambassador, H.E Dr. Akech Koch, Ambassador of the Republic of South Sudan to the United States of America. His presence here tonight is honor to those of us in the Atlas Corps fellowship program from South Sudan.

Dear audience, prior to this fellowship, I worked as Senior Program Officer with AECOM International South Sudan, implementing USAID’s South Sudan Transition and Conflict Mitigation program. I was involved in cattle rustling, nomadic migration and trade related conflict mitigation activities in most volatile regions of South Sudan. I had also worked with USAID BRIDGE program before that, just to mention a couple of my work experiences. Most significantly, I co-founded an organization called PACODES while here in United States in 2004. With that organization, we built a library, furnished and transported 20,000 books in a 40 ft container from United States to South Sudan. I’m a BA in Political Science and History double majors’ holder from Concordia College in Moorhead MN and possess a Master of Management degree from University of Mary, Bismarck North Dakota.

I join Atlas Corps with great confidence to build onto these experiences. I hope to learn better and probably superior and innovative ways to help improve service delivery in areas of my interests. I expect this opportunity to augment my chances of employment and hopefully aid my future employers to deliver the badly needed social services with their good-will organizations.

Just like all my colleagues are, it is fair to say that I bring to Atlas Corps and BRAC USA my experiences in Governance and conflict mitigation related initiatives, grant writing skills, monitoring and evaluation practices and project implementation expertise. Most importantly, the fact that my colleagues and I are here representing our distinctive nations is in itself a manifestation of our commitment and a contribution to the Atlas Corps mission of “flattening” the world, particularly in Non-profit and social entrepreneurial sectors.

This fellowship class 13 is committed to social change through strong non-profit and social entrepreneurial sectors. We are ready to learn new ways of doing non-profit and social entrepreneurship innovatively with hope of impacting world affairs positively.

Last but not least, this opportunity of fellowship would have been impossible without the good will and well intended assistance from those of you in this room. Often, you wonder about what happens to your contributions to organizations like Atlas Corps, whose ambitions navigate beyond United States jurisdiction. You doubt the impact your contribution make and how to measure success. With the Atlas Corps Fellowship class 13, rest assured that you made a difference. You are already impacting our world in the positive direction because you have just contributed to non-profit leaders who are already changing the world positively, although slowly.

As Mr. Scott, the CEO of Atlas Corps says, “talent is spread out evenly around the world, but opportunities are not,” just remember that your money has a greater value with our presence here in the United States. In fact, you have just narrowed the opportunity gaps in our world.  I hope you see it that way.

As we shall depart from this venue later, remember that Atlas Corps has developed and will continue to develop non-profit leaders. These leaders need your continued support. Your unceasing financial assistance to Atlas Corps and partnership, as well as funding to organizations fellows work with or found, is of immense demand.

Finally, we are grateful for the opportunity you offered us through Atlas Corps to work and learn in the United States in the next six months to one year.

On behalf of Atlas Corps Fellowship Class 13, thank you so much.

By Machien Luoi,

The speech was delivered on Atlas Corps Fellows Class 13,

GO Global GALA 13 (09/05/2013).

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