Feeling Like Home !

Second week with UNICEF and I feel to be here for a long time ! I feel well integrated in my new team and comfortable in my daily life despite all the precautions to be taken due to the very volatile security situation in the country.

Monday I have helped two of my colleagues for the inventory of drugs and materials at UNICEF warehouse. I have learnt new things about the distribution channel from the supplier to beneficiaries. When I have seen all this material, I have tried to imagine the distribution of therapeutic nutrition, anti-retroviral drugs, rehydration salts … to communities. And I guess that it should not be an easy task … For instance, it may be very complex to ensure the respect of cold chain for vaccines when providing communities with gasoline, which is used to operate cold storage, is already a problem.

Today, I can imagine this only through the narrative of my colleagues who leave and return from their mission. But soon, I will also go in mission to live and understand these realities. I’m so glad to organize my departure to Kongolo and I already know that it will be very different from Lubumbashi with unforeseen events, traveling in very small aircraft 😉 … I will be there for two weeks to help in the training of local staff to the monitoring of health programs but also to assist them in the data collection, analyses and reporting of data collected.

IMG_1747Outside of my working hours, I take the time to discover the city with my friends and colleagues and to eat Congolese food (so so good) !! Days go by very quickly here! The sun rises and sets early and very quickly. Mornings and evenings are very fresh and that’s perfect to keep mosquitoes away 🙂 ! Lubumbashi is a city very popular with expatriates. The town is pleasant with lots of places to go out and to meet people but life is also very expensive due to the presence of mining area. Finding a private accommodation here is definitely a real challenge!

This weekend is a long weekend of 3 days because we will celebrate the 54th anniversary of the independence of the country on June, 30th.

See you next week for new adventures…. and if you do not read new posts during the two next weeks no panic 🙂 having a wifi connection in bush area can be very difficult 🙂

Laure Benjamin, PULSE 2014, Volunteer at UNICEF, Democratic Republic of Congo

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