Giorgia Nicatore

Giorgia Nicatore (Sini Sanuman in Mali): Italian by birth, Giorgia grew up in Belgium. Before her fellowship, she studied the philosophy of war at King's College London. She also worked in Senegal, Gambia and Guinea-Bissau where she discovered the power of local peace-building. Giorgia took a semester off from studying for a Master's in Conflict Resolution at Georgetown University in Washington to work in Mali. After her fellowship Giorgia wrote: “Six months in Mali and I don’t want to leave. I am not tired. I have found wonderful friends and accomplices in this city, in this country; I feel that this project, that I am fortunate to be part of, has the potential to have a real impact, and indeed already has.”

On Bamako, the office, and reflections thereupon.

15 Jun

This is a short blog post, my thoughts are fairly scattered. Before I find a way to convey them coherently, I better stick to just a couple of paragraphs.

Sunday in Bamako, ten days in. Ups and downs as predicted, interesting experiences all the way. From lunches with my co-workers, to meetings at UNICEF, to encounters with Malian football fans, with Ivorian businessmen, from thunderstorms and lost kittens, to a fashion show at MINUSMA, from spending one hundred dollars in rent, to getting a glimpse of the UN world, watching frisbee at the US embassy and eating pizza and gnocchi al pesto. All that in a setting of heat and dust, traffic jams and occasional tropical storms.

The chaos of the outside world is not entirely reflected in the office. This first full week has been a little slow at work. It’s the planning phase, I am trying to understand the bigger picture of the project, create a timeline while at the same time also attributing roles and responsibilities to each team member. This is also to better understand where I fit in. Sini Sanuman, the national NGO that I am working with here in Bamako, has been doing intensive work on female genital mutilation and how to create awareness on the issue for more than a decade. Today, Sini Sanuman’s role consists in supporting victims of sexual violence through psycho-social activities, particularly in the aftermath of the 2012 crisis in Mali. This is something they will continue doing in the future through the new programme I’m helping to set up, and hopefully more UNICEF projects as well. As I get to know my co-workers more closely and maybe visit the existing activities and centres I hope to continue to draw my mental picture, understand the issues and what some of the best practices could be. It’s an intense process which will require patience and long conversations, and I look forward to it.

Posted By Giorgia Nicatore

Posted Jun 15th, 2014

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