Hear some voices and see UNICEF’s work come to life as UNICEF international staff members share their insight into the way the organization works, day by day, to improve the lives of individual children around the world.
For every child, make a difference
Could you share why you decided to join UNICEF and how your experience here has been?
The disastrous earthquake of Bam (Iran) in December 2003 moved me in a way that I gave up my career in the field of Engineering and I applied for a temporary post at UNICEF as a Supply Assistant.
I started working at UNICEF Iran as a Supply & Logistics Assistant in June 2004 and was assigned to the BAM emergency programme. After the closure of that programme in 2007, I was appointed as Head of Supply and Logistics Unit in the same office. I was also fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to work in Southern Sudan for more than three months as a Contracts Officer on mission. I was subsequently appointed to my current position as Contracts Officer in the Supply Division of the Vaccine Centre in Copenhagen as of December 2010.
It has been my ambition since childhood to pursue a career in international development and UNICEF is simply the best job I have ever had. The satisfaction of working for children and saving lives is the most memorable and rewarding part of it all!
What does a typical workday look like for you?
My work mainly involves managing day-to-day supply and logistics operations of the polio eradication programme. Every day I work with Health Specialists in different UNICEF offices around the globe that are dealing with polio eradication activities. All the way from West Africa to Pakistan and Afghanistan in Southeast Asia. My job includes serving as a liaison with Oral polio vaccine suppliers, UNICEF Programme Division, World Health Organization (WHO) Global polio team and other stakeholders to ensure delivery of the oral polio vaccine for the campaigns as well as routine immunizations.
What are some of the most challenging and rewarding parts of your job?’
The key challenge is to guide countries throughout the whole complex procedure and provide them with the appropriate items and best possible delivery window.
It is a daily challenge to act as a mediator between country offices and contracting units in the Vaccine Centre, recognizing the challenges suppliers are faced with, while knowing that developing countries are struggling and are in need of specific products. We constantly have to stay innovative and find solutions that satisfy both parties, while always making sure we put the needs of children and mothers first.
What advice do you have for people looking to make a career at UNICEF?
My advice to aspiring UNICEF applicants would be: be brave, open and try to make the best out of it. If you want to make a difference, UNICEF is the best place. No matter the function and level of your position, we are all here for children and believe me when I say, your voice is going to be heard. We tend to get caught up in our daily grind and sometimes forget exactly how our work is changing lives, but someone somewhere in the world constantly appreciates what you are doing for them. Each one of us is integral to the process of serving children.