News Stories

RedR Mentoring provided me with a window to another world!

05 April 2017

RedR’s mentoring programme is designed to support junior professionals as they look to gain experience within the humanitarian sector. We pair mentees with experienced humanitarians who are working in their chosen field, and can assist them in their transition to the sector. Mentors provide technical guidance, information on the humanitarian sector and support with potential career paths and opportunities. Due to the mentor’s background, they can offer practical advice which is grounded in real-life experience. To support their journey, all mentors receive free, quality online training, and consistent support from RedR throughout the process. RedR paired Claudia Tizzoni and Bertrand Ngama based upon their areas of expertise, and their targets for participating in the programme.

Bertrand has been a RedR Member for 3 years, while Claudia recently joined RedR’s Affiliate programme – designed to assist junior professionals with their transition into the humanitarian sector.

Having worked for various UN agencies and large NGOs, Bertrand Ngama Gne-Kamba is a highly-experienced project manager with experience in civilian peace keeping, humanitarian field services and logistics. Bertrand has field experience with the United Nations in his birthplace of the Central African Republic, and has also worked extensively in DR Congo, Haiti, Equatorial Guinea, Burundi, and Tanzania. After learning about RedR’s mentoring scheme he was enthusiastic to become involved, to support the next generation of humanitarians, and applied to become a RedR mentor.

After completing her Master’s in Energy Engineering, Claudia has worked as an analyst for private sector energy companies in both Italy and France. She always had a desire to utilise her skills and expertise in the humanitarian field, and applied to the mentoring programme so she could receive advice and guidance in transferring her competencies to the sector. The result of her participation was hugely positive, not only did she receive consistent support from her mentor who identified her areas of need, but she was also able to obtain a job in the field!

Here, Claudia recounts her experience of the mentoring programme, in an interview conducted by RedR UK.

What inspired you to take part in the RedR mentoring programme?

I was looking for an experienced humanitarian that could support me in understanding the role of a humanitarian logistician. I had read many articles and books on the topic but needed direct contact with

 someone who had experience of working in the field.

The RedR UK Mentoring program offered me this. What inspired my decision to participate was the possibility to have a dedicated mentor with experience in the field, an expert humanitarian who could meet my needs.

I quickly understood that the training offered was innovative and dynamic and was something I had not found elsewhere. An advantage is the flexibility of the program, the mode and timing of meetings suits participants.

What have been the most positive aspects of the mentoring relationships?

Firstly, the dynamicity of the training: its organisation and the topic areas that mentors and mentees can explore. In my case, my mentor was able to fine-tune the program to my specific needs. I am going to work in Sierra Leone for an Italian NGO to support the Procurement Officer and to also gain some direct field experience. Prior to my trip, I asked my mentor to provide me with specific information which could prepare me for experience in the field. Furthermore, I am interested in the energy supply of African countries, and my mentor spent a great deal of time explaining the energy supply of countries in Africa to me, such as; Kenya, the Central African Republic, Burundi and Sudan.

Another positive aspect has been the expertise of my mentor. This is the first time that I have experienced this type of relationship, my mentor was available to satisfy all questions and doubts I had, from the most theoretical ones to the most practical. His experience and expertise is incredible.

I also enjoyed the opportunity to culturally learn from my mentor and to interact with someone who is living in another continent, he was able to provide me with the opportunity to learn about the cultural aspects of his country.

How has the mentoring programme impacted on you?

For me this mentoring relationship has provided me with a window to another world. I have found it enriching from both a technical and personal point of view. It has enabled me to feel more confident when I go to the field. I would highly recommend this programme to anyone interested in humanitarianism, it has been a successful experience.

For more information on RedR's Mentoring Programme, please click here.

For information on RedR's Affiliate Scheme, please click here

Photo (c) Claudia Tizzoni

More News