I joined the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in 1987 at the age of 21. This was the era of the gamine haircut and neutral coloured crochet cardigans...as you can see! I knew very little about my life’s ambitions at the time and even less about development. But somehow I felt a strong duck/water connection....
This month, I celebrate 32 years working for DFID, of which I have spent the last 10 years working in Africa: Sudan, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Ghana and currently Nigeria.
I love and believe in development in its most basic form - an obligation to help those less fortunate than ourselves within an interconnected global community. I have tried not to become too jaded by what development has become over the years, particularly the commercialisation aspect.
Although I am a senior technical adviser, I do strongly feel that the best development is the kind donors know nothing about. Where ordinary people strive to help themselves and their families out of poverty; to help others within their own communities, countries and even across borders in small but meaningful ways.
I have the privilege of working for DFID which aims to help poor people. I know many staff who are very committed and try hard to deliver good results. It is often challenging, after all, the workings of international development are deeply complex and controversial.
I have met some wonderful people along the way. So fantastic and committed to developing their own countries. I have also found heroes who have really moved me. These are the people I want to write about and showcase in this blog: A development life and more. I will reflect on my journey to date; share views and comments on current happenings.