Busayo Oladiran: Changing the lives of Girls Living in Slums through The Ìgboyà Project

According to UNICEF, 13.2 million children are out of school in Nigeria, 60% of them are girls. This figure puts Nigeria as the country with the highest number of out-of-school children in the world.

This proverbial gun powder poses a serious danger not only to the present day Nigeria but also the future of the nation. Notably, one patriotic Nigerian is doing her bit to stop this gun powder from exploding. Her name is Busayo Oladiran.

Busayo is a graduate of Microbiology from the University of Ilorin, co-founder of Pep Naija and 2018 YALI fellow. She grew up in an average Nigerian family where she didn’t lack basic needs.

She was, however, treated unfairly at some point because she is a girl child. So she vowed to create opportunities for girls, especially those who are underprivileged.

This was why she founded The Ìgboyà Project to help girls living in slums/underserved communities become role models worthy of emulation. 

In this article SLA contributor, Kofoworola Ayodeji highlights some of her achievements in helping Nigerian girls living in the slum.

 Hope emerges for girls living in Dustbin Estate…

On a bright Saturday morning, Busayo and her team made a triumphant entry into the Dustbin Estate in Ajegunle, Lagos Nigeria.

As they alighted from the car, the four-person team was swarmed by a group of enthusiastic girls who have been waiting eagerly to start a journey that would change the course of their lives in the weeks ahead.

That moment birthed The Ìgboyà Project in Ajegunle.

The journey began. And then the sad moment ensued.

Busayo and her team members arrive at Dustbin Estate, Ajegunle Lagos.

“I heard stories that made me shed tears for days. There’s the story of a girl who was doing well academically on scholarship. Then she was molested, got pregnant and lost her scholarship.

Her education stopped. She lost her dad in the process and had to sleep in an uncompleted building with pregnancy for months.” -Busayo said in a low voice.

“Another of the girls lost her two parents and had to stop going to school because her guardians couldn’t send her. It was such an emotional moment for me, for all of us. They broke down in tears while telling their story. They cried. I cried too.

I couldn’t help it. But I’m happy that with our coaching and investment in them, they have braced up to get the best out of life.” She continued.

The Ìgboyà girls during a class session.

Why it was called -The Ìgboyà Project…

“The name ‘Ìgboyà’ is a powerful word in my native language, Yoruba. It simply means courage, confidence, or boldness.” says Busayo as she thrusts her fists into the air with so much passion.

“The Ìgboyà Project was created to help girls living in slums or remote communities. Basically, we’re working to help them build their self-confidence, self-esteem and communication skills. They are also trained in public speaking, branding, sexual and reproductive health.

I really want our girls to be bold, and to believe in themselves - @OladiranBusayo Click To Tweet

The project has so far empowered a lot of girls currently living in Dustbin Estate, Ajegunle Lagos. The Ìgboyà girls, as the participants are called, get trained over a period of six weeks with intensive classes, class exercises and simulation.

After that, they were organized into a brainstorming session during which they analyzed and highlighted some of the key problems facing their local community. They are then mentored and supported by the Ìgboyà team to solve these problems.

A cross-section of the panel of judges on the grand finale of The Ìgboyà Debate

“When we arrived at Dustbin Estate in Ajegunle, my eyes were welled up with tears. It was unbelievable that some people live in this kind of environment. I began to think about the girls who grow up in a place like this.

I knew we had no choice but to rewrite the story of some girls living around here. Thank God for LOTS charity that has been doing so much to groom the kids in that community, ” says Busayo

“After six weeks of rigorous training sessions, I knew the change had finally come. Our girls have now become so bold that they can take on anyone on any issue about their community or nation.

They are now doing their community project and we will continue to mentor and expose them to life-changing opportunities. I recently went with four of the girls to #TLC2018, a speaking event which held at the American Corner, Yaba Lagos.

This inspired them and exposed them to many more opportunities. Our next stop is Mushin in Lagos and we look forward to having a great experience there.”

Busayo with some of the Ìgboyà Girls at #TLC2018 held at The American Corner CcHub Yaba Lagos.
My dream is for the @igboyaproject to reach millions of girls living in slums/underserved communities across Africa - @OladiranBusayo Click To Tweet

That you were born a girl child in a particular community should not limit your potentials in life. Every single girl in the world deserves to live a fulfilling life of purpose.

Dear Motherland Mogul, make your life a story worth telling. Within every person lies an extraordinary story waiting to be told.

 How are you making a difference in your community? Click here to share your story.

Agang Ditlhogo – All we wanted was to teach kids and teens how to code

Agang Ditlhogo is passionate about education. She is a co-founder of The Clicking Generation ICT Academy for Kids and Teens. It is a social enterprise that offers computing and technology curriculum to kids and teens.

Also, she is currently National Expert for UN-World Summit Award Organization, Ambassador-ITU Young Innovator Competition, Ambassador-Africa Code Week and PR Officer – Internet Society (ISOC) local chapter.

Agang forms part of the prestigious Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship program. She is also a Mandela Washington Fellow 2016, an initiative by U.S. State Department.

She was selected as OkayAfrica Magazine publication top 100 women in 2017. Agang is an Atlas Corps Fellow currently working at Tetra Tech as an International Energy and Internet Fellow.

 What led you to choose ICT as the path you wanted to work in?

When I first saw the computer back in Junior School I was beyond fascinated. I envisioned what I had previously seen in sci-fi movies and I wanted to learn more. Interestingly, I didn’t know then that I’ll be in a related career and I just forgot all about it.

I had always known I wanted an engineering related career and when I found out about computer science I got excited.

After a one year BSc program, I joined the Computer Information Systems stream. I have since evolved and I now have a focus on ICT4Development as an emerging field of focus.

You co-founded your social enterprise, The Clicking Generation, what has that journey been like?

The Clicking Generation (TCG) is an ICT Academy for kids and teens. We offer age-appropriate, fun and explorative learning of ICT and computing concepts for boys and girls in both rural and urban Botswana. We are loud, colorful and fun!

The mandate is simple, we want to contribute to the education system of Botswana. Our programs are designed to expose learners to tools and resources that will not only enhance their logic and creative thinking but encourage them to become innovators of socially relevant technology solutions.

It has been an interesting journey thus far. Imagine this, two ‘naïve’ techies Tsaone Gaborone and myself with zero experience in curriculum design, financial management principles, and many other elements.

All we knew was we wanted to teach kids and teens how to code. We have since come a long way and through professional and self-development efforts continue to embrace the principles of social change and all the related technical factors.

What prompted your decision not to work a full-time job?

I had worked in an Academic Institution for seven years both on the academic and IT technical aspects. Crazy notion! I left a permanent and pensionable job for a dream, who does that? The intention was to focus on business strategy for the social enterprise.

I quickly realized what it takes to be an entrepreneur, it is a specialized field that requires bravery and a distinct DNA. I remain a devoted social- entrepreneur and believe in change maker ideals that foster change.

Fast forward a couple of years, I decided to take up working as a local United Nations volunteer and continued technical development work. It has been an interesting career journey and I currently serve as International Energy & Internet Fellow with Tetra Tech based in Washington, DC through the Atlas Corps Fellowship.You were a Tony Elumelu Fund Recipient and have been selected for the Mandela Washington Fellowship, and Atlas Corps Fellowship, how has this shaped your journey?
It has been a blessing being selected for these leadership opportunities. The technical takeaways of these programs have positioned both my personal and professional outlook.

I have had moments to self-reflect which have allowed me to apply servant leadership strategies and principles to my current efforts.

However, I continue to meet inspirational young leaders across the world whose bravery is depicted in their various efforts to contribute to their communities. These moments are treasured and I’ll continue to be encouraged and validated.

I would encourage young changemakers to seek these opportunities, apply and be ready to teach and learn.

Why did you think is philanthropy important for your career or personal growth?

I have in the past volunteered with both local and international organizations. There is power in willingness to learn, genuine willingness always reveals limitless possibilities. It is a simple principle really but may as well be the opportunity that announces you to your next level.

I have realized that there is something that you have that the next person needs big or small you have something to offer, this has been a great lesson.

What has been your greatest achievement, and what disappointments have you dealt with since you started your journey?

One of my highlights in recent months has been part of the coordinating team with SIMI Movement (She.Is.My.Inspiration). This is a mentorship program for young women matched with industry’s influential women from various sectors.

The interaction has brought several personal AHA! moments that I was in much need of. I also treasure time spent on implementing GirlsInICT and #eSkills4Girls programs.

Far too many disappointments! They come in sometimes being unsure of this journey, constantly requiring personal validation and income statements that make you question WHY?

Why do I continue to do this? I will testify of God’s goodness during these times because amidst many reasons to give up there is always assurance unexplainable.

What’s your advice for Motherland Moguls interested in starting a social enterprise? Where should they start?

  •  Be intentional! Identify your value-add and be deliberate about your personal and professional branding. It is all about character and discipline in the journey to ‘becoming’. Genuine work and effort have the ability to introduce you to your targeted audience.


  •  Be teachable in the Potter’s hands! God is the revealer of destiny and if you complement your journey with hard work and faith you will be well on your way.

What passions do you explore outside of your business?

I love poetry. Although I do not write as often as I used to, poetry has been a fulfilling passion of mine. I also aim to keep up with reading current opinion media pieces.

 Interested in contributing for She Leads Africa? Click here.

The United Nations is using it’s Women’s Global HeforShe initiative to drive gender equality

Gender equality is a fundamental human right but remains a distant dream for many women worldwide.  The United Nations’ HeforShe is a solidarity campaign for the advancement of gender equality.  Its goal is to achieve equality by encouraging both genders to partake as agents of change and take action against negative stereotypes and behaviors, faced by people with feminine personalities/genders.

Grounded in the idea that gender inequality is an issue that affects all people—socially, economically and politically. It seeks to actively involve men and boys in a movement that was originally conceived as “a struggle for women by women”.

The HeForShe movement is gathering momentum globally as a cohort of select leaders from both the public and private sectors join the drive and stand out as visionaries on gender equality.

On behalf of Standard Bank Group, Chief Executive Sim Tshabalala, has become one of the global “Thematic Champions” in the HeForShe movement. These leaders have committed to implementing game-changing policies and concrete actions towards gender parity.

“Achieving gender equity is a moral duty, a business imperative, and just plain common sense. Women embody half the world’s talent, skill and energy – and more than half of its purchasing power.

So every sensible business leader must be committed to achieving gender equity in their company and to contributing to gender equity in the societies in which we operate,” says Tshabalala.

Sim Tshabalala
@StandardBankZA will improve the representation of women in executive positions from the current 35% to 40% by 2021. #HeforShe Click To Tweet

In the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Gender Gap report, it is estimated that it will take more than 217 years to achieve workplace equality after gender parity took a step backward in the past year.

Concrete commitments made by Standard Bank Group in order to bring about tangible change include:

  • Reaching parity in executive positions and to improve the representation of women in executive positions from its current 32% to 40% by 2023.
  • Lift the representation of women on the Board from 22% to 33% by 2021.

Standard Bank is also committed to increasing the representation of women Chief Executives in its Africa Regions network from 10% to 20% by 2021, while Standard Bank South Africa will improve the representation of women in executive positions from the current 35% to 40% by 2021.

While progress has been made in certain countries in Africa to close gender gaps, others remain behind the curve. Namibia and South Africa both score in the Top 20 in the WEF global report on gender equality – after closing 78% to 76% of their gender gaps – but Sub-Saharan Africa still displays a wider range of gender gap outcomes than practically any other region.

Launched by Emma Watson and the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2014, HeForShe represented the first global effort to actively include men and boys as change agents for gender equality at a time when most gender programs were only targeting women.

The U.N. recently reported that nearly 20 percent of women surveyed said they had experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in the previous year. #HeforShe Click To Tweet

It was the beginning of a trend that only seems more relevant as stories emerge of sexual abuse and harassment suffered by women in the workplace.

The Sustainable Development Goals call for gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, but campaigns such as the most recent International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women highlight that there is much work to be done.

The U.N. recently reported that nearly 20 percent of women surveyed said they had experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in the previous year.

Originally conceived as a one-year media campaign to raise awareness about the role of men and boys in gender equality, the HeForShe website garnered more than 100,000 male supporters in its first three days.

These males affirmed their commitment to the cause by declaring themselves “HeForShe” and saying that gender equality is not just a women’s issue. Early adopters included a clutch of celebrities and politicians, including former U.S. President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and actor Matt Damon.

Since then, 1.6 million men have signed up online, including at least one man in every country of the world, and its “Impact Champions” include the presidents of Rwanda, Ghana, Malawi, and Indonesia, among several other heads of state. 

The issue has also been the subject of 2 billion conversations on social media.

But HeForShe is not without its critics. Many in the gender equality community say they would like to see the movement make more concrete demands of its male champions, and have called for civil society to play a greater role in developing and monitoring the movement.

“Now is a good moment for reflection and discussion about HeForShe, which has achieved high visibility, clear successes, and also drawbacks,” said Gary Barker, co-founder of Promundo, an NGO working to engage men and boys for gender equality, which has advised the HeForShe campaign since its launch three years ago.

“Having that amount of reach and star power on board means there’s huge potential, but we need to harness it before the movement loses momentum … [and] we need to push UN Women to go further and ask more of men,” he added.

Johannesburg : 9th October 2018.

 Sponsored Post.

Nathalie Ndongo-Seh: How I built my career in the United Nations (UNOAU)

Nathalie Ndongo-Seh is the Chief of Staff of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She has been recently appointed as the Resident Coordinator in the Kingdom of Swaziland.

Ms. Ndongo-Seh is a former Attorney-at-Law, who started her career with the UN in 2000 in East Timor as a Legal Officer and who, over the past 18 years, has accumulated a wide-ranging United Nations peacekeeping and political experience in Afghanistan, Liberia, Israel, Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, and Ethiopia.  

She has worked in the fields of peace and security; justice and rule-of-law; governance; partnerships building; institution-building; resource mobilization; ethics, conduct and discipline; and management.

Very soon, Ms. Ndongo-Seh will assume new responsibilities on the continent as a UN Resident Coordinator while leading a United Nations Country Team and coordinating UN operational activities for development.

Ms. Ndongo-Seh began her international career in the private sector in France, Cameroon and Ivory Coast. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commercial Law; a Master’s Degree in International Law; and a postgraduate Degree in International Economic Law, all obtained from Pantheon-La Sorbonne University in Paris, France.


 ‘Women are not only mothers, caretakers, bread-winners, fighters, and survivors in the most challenging security circumstances: they are also key players in conflict prevention, mediation & building peace. They drive change and transformation every day’.

What was your ambition growing up?


My parents told me that at a young age, I wanted to be a chef and afterward, a social worker taking care of street children. At the age of 11, I decided that I would become a lawyer – this never changed.

At the age of 15 or 16, I started shadowing friends and acquaintances of my parents working as lawyers, magistrates or judges.

I studied international law, graduated from La Sorbonne University in Paris and was admitted to the Bar in 1993 (first admission) and in 1995 (final admission after my apprenticeship).

Did you ever think you would end up in international affairs, or at the United Nations?


Yes, it had always been my goal to work at the international level.

I studied international economic law (along with international relations) and was trained to work as a lawyer in the corporate world or for international organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), or the African Development Bank (AfDB) on development projects, international contracts and agreements, litigation and so forth.

I also had a strong interest in the UN at that time and was thinking that I would apply for internships or short-term assignments with the UN.

Want to build a career in the United Nations? Read how Ms. Nathalie Ndongo-Seh became the (UNOAU) chief of staff. Click To Tweet

What was your path to working at the UN? What factors helped you along the way?


There was no path as such except for my interest in development, human rights, international justice, the rule-of-law and my determination to contribute to saving the world from ‘the scourge of war’.

I would say that it was a set of circumstances that facilitated my access to the United Nations. I was already working on continental issues when I started meeting and interacting with staff from the UN and other organizations that seemed to often have exciting careers and professional paths that coincided with my aspirations.

In 1999/2000, the UN opened new peacekeeping missions. I decided to apply for several vacancies while seeking advice and guidance from UN acquaintances on how best I could write my resume and prepare for the interviews.

Within a month, I was contacted by UN Headquarters for a brief interview and offered a Legal Officer position in East Timor with the UN Peacekeeping Department.

Recruitment procedures have since changed and, these days, the UN is drawing down missions more than it opens new ones. There are however several working opportunities throughout the UN system as a staff member, a consultant, a UN volunteer, or as an intern.

How does the UN compare with other organizations you have worked with?


I am privileged to have worked in various environments, including in a parastatal company, in the private sector and in a continental organization.

I have enjoyed and drawn life lessons from each experience. For now, the UN is the perfect fit for me as I have assumed a wide range of responsibilities at the senior leadership level in 8 countries.


Till date, I have attended several courses and received several pieces of training, which altogether have enhanced my knowledge, skills, and competencies. Also, I have been promoted and afforded opportunities to compete for positions, traveled the world, including to countries that I had almost never heard of prior to working for the UN.

During my time here, I have met individuals from different backgrounds and origins who have opened my eyes to social, political, economic, human rights, and community issues to which I may not have been sensitive to under other circumstances.

By working at the UN, I have encountered challenging situations that tested my resilience and at times my beliefs; and I have made friends who have become family.

 There are several working opportunities in the UN as a staff member, a consultant, a UN volunteer, or as an intern. Read more... Click To Tweet

Have you ever received a painful rejection in your career? How did you handle it?


Yes, rejection is a part of life and one that I have experienced several times in my career and that I may continue to experience in the future. Some are obviously more painful or frustrating than others.

Altogether, and when handled well, they make you a stronger, wiser, possibly more focused and more strategic person.

I have handled them at times with tears, silent disbeliefs, wisdom (sort of “well, that was meant for me; something better/bigger will come my way”), or while immediately putting the matter behind me, refocusing on my objectives, and counting my blessings.

But what is important to acknowledge in such situations is that we are human beings. One may cry, may decide to take half a day off from work, or burn steam and anger on the golf course or at the gym, may do some in-depth reflection or introspection if it helps and carry on in, hopefully, good spirits.

Rejection is not a death sentence: keep going; maintain your values, self-esteem, self-confidence and revisit your goals/objectives to set achievable ones. It helps to quote Nelson Mandela who said: “Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

How to land an Internship at the International Labour Organisation

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) was created in 1919 and serves as the leading U.N. agency dealing with labour issues. The headquarters of the ILO is located in Switzerland employing some 2,700 officials from over 150 nations at its headquarters in Geneva and in around 40 field offices around the world.

Among these officials, 900 work in technical cooperation programmes and projects.

Here’s what you need to know

The internship program requires you to be enrolled in or have completed a Masters Degree. The work of the ILO is really diverse, so your specialization does not need to be in labour or international policy etc. Take a look at the different departments to see where your interest could lay.

The duration of the internship can be between 3 to 6 months. This usually depends on matters such as funding or whether you will be working on a particular project. It is definitely better to apply for the full 6 months, if you get three months there is an opportunity for extension of your contract.

Brush up your language skills, the main language spoken in Geneva is French and with the three working languages of the ILO being Spanish, French, and English. Having a primary or proficient knowledge of two out of the three will be a great way to get around and will boost your chances of an internship.

We all know that most internships are unpaid, leading a lot of young graduates into debt and dire living circumstances. Fortunately, the ILO pays its interns a stipend which is enough to live in Geneva, subject to a nice and tight budget).

Geneva is one of the most expensive cities to live in but don’t let that be a deterrent. It is doable, despite the fact that everyone loves to remind you how expensive it is. But you are a Motherland mogul, you know how to budget!

Applying for the internship

You can apply for the internship through the ILO generic internship roster, which is published several times per year.The roster will be made available to all departments within the Office. Find the right department! Read up on the different departments and their work to see where your interest lies.

This will help you hone your application to the actual department, the internship experience is considered a learning experience rather than a work experience. You want to be able to get the most out of it so you can build your professional skills in your field.

You can apply to the internship roster and wait to be contacted by a department when an internship position opens up.

Getting there

I hope you got your savings right because of the cost of travel, insurance, and accommodation, as well as living expenses, are your responsibility, as an intern. You gotta pay your own way girl.

Moving can be extremely costly so be prepared to bear those costs. If you can get sponsorship that would be amazing. You really have to think about whether it is worth it and how feasible it actually is.

So Motherland Mogul, is it worth it?

Internships really do have their costs and benefits. And considering moving to another continent is a bigger battle on its own. So, as with all things you do, you have to think about whether it is what you want.

The risk is definitely worth the reward. Currently, internships are the best way to get your foot in the door and build your career at international organizations such as the ILO.

One of the lines you will constantly hear is that the internship program is not intended to lead to a career in the ILO. This is true, there is no guarantee of a position after your internship so you have to put your networking skills to use and your resourcefulness to further your career either at the ILO or any of the other organizations in Geneva.

You will be exposed to the structure of the United Nations and its specialized agencies. The work environment is multicultural and multi-faceted, and the networking opportunities are endless as you will meet not only your colleagues but people from around the world who attend conferences and meetings at the ILO.

This exposure is unbelievable, you just have to know how to make the best of the internship.

Got advice on how to land a job or an internship in your organization or industry? Share your article with us here.

How to land a job with the United Nations

United Nations Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

The United Nations is probably one of the most well known organisations in the world. Around the world, wherever the UN is present, it is widely regarded as a symbol of peace, cooperation and development.

For someone like myself working in the development sector, landing a job at the UN is considered a major feat and one that is likely to open doors for you throughout the rest of your career.

So the question is, how exactly does one go about getting a job at the United Nations? Having successfully gone through the process recently, I would like to offer a few key pieces of advice that I believe worked to my advantage.

1. Become an expert at something

Whatever your qualifications are, know now that for every position you apply to at the United Nations there are hundreds, if not thousands of people with the same qualifications, or even better. So what’s going to set you apart from the competition?

In my opinion, you have to be an expert at something, anything. You should also be able to demonstrate how you can use your expertise to make an impact on the job if you are hired. In my case, while the job description did not immediately ask for it, I knew that I had a flair for design and communication and so I was sure to highlight that.

In my opinion, you have to be an expert at something, anything Click To Tweet

I showed this not just in my CV but in the way my CV was designed. Also, in answering the questions in the application process, I made sure to weave this fact into my answers, and it worked.

After I was hired my boss told me that was one thing that stuck in her mind. In addition, the fact that I was able to display that skill at every stage of the interview process, both on the written test and during the oral interview, was impressive.

So my advice to you is, be very good at what you do. Also, have a few unexpected tricks up your sleeve. In this day and age, don’t limit yourself to any one way of doing things.  Rather use your time wisely to cultivate skill sets outside of your field of work or study.

In this day and age, don’t limit yourself to any one way of doing things Click To Tweet

2. Be bold and daring

For most positions advertised at the UN, it seems that they are looking for experts with tons of experience. At first glance I think it can be very intimidating to most people, especially those in the earlier stages of their careers, who feel that they do not have the necessary profile to apply for the jobs they come across.

My advice to you is to ignore the doubt and dare to go for it anyways. The position I applied for asked for at least 5 years of experience and I had only 2. But reading the job description, I was convinced that even with my limited experience I could take on the role successfully. So I set out to show that in my application.

My advice to you is to ignore the doubt and dare to go for it anyways Click To Tweet

I enlisted all the help that I could get throughout the application process. I familiarised myself with the work being done by the United Nations body I was applying to. Also, I read through tons of reports, case studies, partner organisation websites.

I must have spent close to two weeks crafting the perfect application and going through it over and over until I was fully convinced that I was submitting an application that would get me the job.

After I was hired, I heard from my boss that my application immediately stood out. My boss said it was complete, compelling and presented in an attractive format. By the time they realised that I did not have the 5 years of experience that they were looking for, they were already sold on my qualifications and abilities to think outside the box. That was what put me through to the next round.

3. Cultivate an international outlook

For the most part, the work done by the UN strives to find out what works in one part of the world. Whether it is in terms of promoting socio-economic development, peace or security. Then trying to see how the lessons learned can be applied or reproduced in another part of the world.

What that means is that if you do land a job at the United Nations, you are going to be interacting with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Together, you will find common ground so that you can do meaningful work and enact real change.

Part of what I believe helped me through the application process was that I was able to display the fact that I had a very international background. Not just that, I had successfully thrived in different cultures. I had also been able to build things i.e. networks, grass-roots organisations, communities, everywhere that I had been.

Landing a job at the UN is hard, but the truth is that it is actually very achievable Click To Tweet

Finally, be determined and proactive

In all honesty, landing a job at the UN is hard, but the truth is that it is actually very achievable. It’s one of those things that you have to be really determined and proactive about. Be on the lookout for new job postings on the various UN sites at least twice a month.

Do your research into the different United Nations bodies you think you would like to work for. Know what they are truly about. Then, appraise your background and expertise to determine how you could really make an impact there. Seek counsel from people who have worked in the UN or other international organisations. It never hurts to get a more realistic picture of what it’s really like from an insiders perspective.

Be on the lookout for new job postings on the various UN sites at least twice a month Click To Tweet

Be patient and persistent. You may not land the first or second or even third position you apply for at the United Nations. Still, that should not deter you. Even if you do make it past the first or second round, it can take weeks or even months before you advance to the next round. In my case the whole process took about 4 months. During that time, I still had to focus my time and energy on the job that I already had.

Believe in yourself and in your abilities to succeed and to thrive anywhere. When I got the call saying I’d been offered the position, there was no hesitation and I immediately said yes, even though I knew it would take me away from everything that was familiar to me. I have not regretted one minute of it!

Do you work in the development sector. Do you have a job that has taken you to far and remote corners of the world? What have your experiences been like? Are you considering applying to the UN or similar organisations? We would love to hear from you about your experiences. Visit www.globalcareersfair.com for information on jobs in the development sector.