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Nairobi dreaming

I helped run a workshop last week with the four Human Resource and Administrative officers from Dadaab and Wajir/Mandera field sites and the team from Nairobi. We shared concerns and solutions, taught about managing performance, stress and change, reviewed terms and conditions, and worked out better human resources systems and practices. I was inspired to see the quality of HR people we have, and their passion for supporting their staff and managers to help them give their best to the children and families we are working with.

We watched a film on our website about the effects of drought in Wajir and the work we are doing

with the HR team. A compelling part of it features our staff member Fatuma with a child who we assisted, but who passed away. Fatuma came into the Nairobi office the other day and I chatted with her. She’s still visiting the child’s mother to comfort her as she is shattered by her loss. The child who passed away was the second of her children to have died. Her husband was away finding firewood to sell to be able to take the baby to hospital, and was devastated to come home to find out the child had died.

The loss of a child is devastating whether you live in Wajir or Wolverhampton. A mother in north- east Kenya doesn’t feel less pain or grieve less than a mother in Norwich.

It puts the back office, sometimes frustrating and mundane HR/Admin work we are doing in the right light. We find, recruit and support the staff and managers who do vital front-line work to make sure that children like this won’t die in the future.

I ran about yesterday getting all the info and approvals I needed to advertise 11 jobs in the daily newspaper. I made the paper deadline with minutes to spare. Only to have it knocked out of the paper because the new Kenyan draft constitution had been published and the government and everyone else was taking up acres of space to write about it!

I dreamed about shortlisting on Saturday night. Dreamt I was the British Queen (complete with daft hat with feather as I recall) sat on her horse during Trooping of the Colour when once a year the armed forces parade in front of Her Majesty. In my dream the Cash Transfer Assistants, Income Generation Activity Officers and Health Programme Managers were trooping in front of me and I was selecting them.  During the dream I remember thinking I was being pretty sad and should get out more!

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