Women in UNICEF supply and logistics: Delivering hope and bringing smiles
This International Women’s Day, women working in UNICEF supply and logistics share their experiences on delivering essential supplies to children.
Almost 45 per cent of the supply and logistics staff at the forefront of UNICEF’s work planning, procuring and delivering essential products for children are women.
This International Women’s Day, we share the testimonials of eight colleagues from around the world who overcome challenges and never give up on the mission of delivering critical supplies to help realize children’s rights to health, nutrition, water, education and protection.
A great experience
Rolande Amoita, UNICEF Côte d'Ivoire Supply Specialist
“Whenever I go to the field and find a schoolbag on a child's back, women being vaccinated or having their babies vaccinated, I feel proud of the work we do. I am proud to be part of this great and impressive team that does such noble work supporting the development of women, children and teenagers, ” says Roland Amoita.
She has been working in UNICEF since 2004 and says that working in supply has always been a great experience.
Christine Calo-oy, UNICEF Pacific Office Senior Supply and Procurement Associate
Christine Calo-oy believes that communication and teamwork are key to deliver for children. She also thinks that embracing change and continuous learning are essential if someone wants to be better in a professional field.
“Over the years, the UNICEF Pacific Office has grown tremendously from a regional team of ten staff to around 200 now. There are significant changes in the Supply Operations Unit to better serve and respond efficiently to the needs of the 14 Pacific Island countries. Due to the very diverse and distant locations of the Pacific Island countries, spread widely across a vast ocean with limited transport options and high transport cost, we have now established eight warehouses in strategic locations where we pre-position vaccines and emergency supplies. Also, the volume of supplies that we procure has increased enormously over the years.”
Adjusting to the rhythm
of modern life
Nadia Salamau, UNICEF Kyrgyzstan Supply and Logistics Associate
“I have been able to observe and participate in the changes that took place in different aspects of UNICEF’s life, including how we present ourselves to the global community, our focus areas and approaches in the global programmatic response, our internal system changes, and the reshape of how we perceive and share our internal values and priorities.
It is inspiring to see that an organization with the most noble mandate and more than 190 offices in different countries can adjust to the rhythm of modern life, while successfully addressing major global challenges.”
Driven by a supply motto
Beatrix Bazin Rushton, UNICEF Pakistan retiree and consultant
Bazin Rushton first joined UNICEF in 1984. She retired after 26 years and has recently been working as a UNICEF consultant.
“My years with Supply Division have been transformative. From a typewriter to a computer, from the telex machines and its long stray of perforated paper to the fax machines, from manual recording books and huge filing cabinets to laptop and data filing, the importance of buying the right supply item at the right price and right time has always been my motto.
UNICEF has shown me that the world is not only your own surroundings but a world full of beauty and also of great needs. Proud moments for me have always been seeing the happiness on children’s faces as they received UNICEF backpacks. Through our work, we have been able to reach millions of children.”
Bervery Chawaguta, UNICEF Sierra Leone Chief of Supply and Logistics
“My experience with UNICEF has been very exciting, I have gained strong managerial and technical capabilities working in a multicultural organization with diverse teams”, says Bervery Chawaguta.
She has been working with UNICEF for nine years. Before Sierra Leone, she managed UNICEF’s procurement services portfolio in Nigeria and Pakistan.
“Over the years, there has been an increase in humanitarian emergencies, climate-induced disasters and health pandemics, which are placing exceptional demands on supply and logistics work at all levels. The UNICEF supply function is continuously and strategically helping realize child rights by ensuring access, availability and affordability of essential supplies and services.”
Sonia Freitas, Supply Knowledge Management Manager, UNICEF Supply Division, Copenhagen
“UNICEF is a huge part of my life,” says Sonia Freitas. She has been working with UNICEF for almost 24 years and has seen how the work in Supply has evolved and how teamwork in the Supply Community has played a crucial role in achieving results for children.
“By working together, we have been able to achieve much more than we ever could. I witnessed how the resilience, dedication and commitment of supply and logistics colleagues from around the world positively influence the lives of children.
My years in UNICEF have taught me that our work constantly evolves and that there is always more to learn and improve upon. I am honoured and privileged to be part of such a dynamic and determined community. I feel fulfilled by the work we do, and that is one of the best feelings in the world.”
Never bored or tired of serving children
Victoria Kiko Clement, UNICEF South Sudan Senior Logistics Associate
Victoria Kiko Clement works as a Senior Logistics Associate in UNICEF South Sudan since 2014. She has seen the demand for urgent delivery of supplies surge in recent years.
“The operations are more complex because of the multiple emergencies and poor infrastructure but we are never bored or tired of serving children and their families. I am very proud of the work that UNICEF does and our team in South Sudan.
We are able to solve logistics bottlenecks and get relief supplies across the frontlines to people in need, especially in hard-to-reach areas. This is very rewarding. Knowing that one carton of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) can save the life of a child suffering from malnutrition and delivering 200,000 of those sachets a year keeps me going.”
Delivering hope and bringing smiles
Diana Ferras, UNICEF Ukraine Supply Officer
Diana Ferras joined UNICEF Cuba in 2014. Now based in Ukraine as a Supply Officer, she feels proud of her work at UNICEF.
“We deliver hope and bring smiles to children and families, especially those affected by emergencies or living in hard-to-reach areas. I appreciate my colleagues, from those putting in requests, to those packing the supplies, driving forklifts, transporting and distributing the products, who work tirelessly to ensure that children receive life-saving supplies. There is normally a lot of behind-the scenes work going on to ensure that we deliver for every child which is not seen.”