Gender equality – the work is never done!

25 Jun 2015

Outreach programme visiting IDP campsOutreach programme visiting IDP camps
Being the youngest in a family of seven, I am constantly reminded by my twin sister, who is slightly older than me by 30 minutes,  that I am the ‘baby’ of the family which I tend to disagree with her but she always wins the arguments! I lost my dad at quite a young age, unfortunately my mother never had the chance to go to school she managed to raise us singlehandedly. She always emphasised the need to get girls educated, this has influenced me throughout my life as I have always felt compelled in helping the less needy members of society, especially women, to excel in life.  Education is the single most powerful way to lift people, especially women, out of poverty. I have been fortunate enough to become a trustee for an international charity that helps orphaned and destitute girls through orphan sponsorship programme in Northern Kenya. Girls as young as 12 years old work to contribute to family incomes, forcing them to drop out of school. Others take on caring roles to assist their mothers, these impacts on their performance. The same challenges facing girls in northern Kenya is experienced by the peers across the border in Somalia; … Read more

"There is nothing a woman cannot do," says UN Somalia’s top female driver

08 Jun 2015

Tess and Philippe Lazzarini, UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Resident and Humanitarian Representative for the UN in Somalia.
Have you met Tess Rono, senior driver at the UN in Somalia? She was the first woman to be employed as a driver in the UN in Somalia, and today is one of the highest ranked drivers in the system. “She is a fearless woman!” says Philippe Lazzarini, Deputy Special Representative to the Secretary General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN in Somalia. Tess is his official driver when he is in Nairobi. Tess has worked with Resident Coordinators and Representatives since 1994 – her previous supervisors read like a ‘who’s who’ at the UN in Somalia, including Walid Musa, Erlin Dessau, Dominic Laggenbacher, Randolph Kent, Maxwell Gaylard, Eric Laroche, and Mark Bowden. Tess aspires to work more on the actual programmes through which the UN delivers humanitarian and development assistance.   Before joining United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Somalia, Tess trained as a driver and studied elementary Mechanical Engineering at Kenya National Youth Service training facility.  When she started working for UNDP in 1994 there were very few women drivers around in Kenya. Thanks to her focus and tenacity she rose through the ranks to reach the demanding position she occupies today. Tess has to be very flexible, … Read more

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