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Isabelle Demers
Democratic Republic of Congo

Objective: Supporting gender equality for women

I am currently working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on a 12-month posting as an organizational development adviser. My role entails working alongside members of the NGO, Femme Plus, to build local capacity. Femme Plus is an amazing organization working to support People Living with AIDS (PLHIV), those affected by AIDS and survivors of sexual violence. I work hard to understand the realities they face on the ground, and to support and advise them on management-related issues.

Until now, my work experience in Southern countries had been for a few months only. This time, I wanted to become more involved and for longer. When I saw the Femme Plus post, I was keen to offer my skills to an NGO that embodied my own values. My subsequent research on the DRC had the immediate effect of making me want to invest my energy, by way of a concrete contribution, in the development of this country. It is emerging from a difficult past and fully deserves a better future.

A year’s commitment to working with an NGO partner is long enough to ensure that a lasting contribution can be made. It also offered me the chance to become more familiar with the culture of my host country. I have now been here for three months and, despite the challenges, I have never – not even for a single minute – regretted applying and becoming a volunteer for Cuso International.