Niger: A passion to help people
My name is Abdou Malam Dodo and I am the Food Security and Livelihoods Coordinator for Save the Children Niger.
This basically means I oversee and plan how Save the Children provides families with access to food and/or an income. This is crucial in a country like Niger where people are either subsistence farmers or depend on the market to access their food and income.
Sadly this is not the first time I have seen a food crisis in Niger.
I first started working for Save the Children in 2005 when we responded to a food crisis. But in my opinion, the crisis is very different this time. Back then the situation was much more affected by food prices and people controlling the price of grain.
A personal passion
My job is technical and specific — and I love it. I assess why people are vulnerable, how they are vulnerable and how they are coping on their own.
In fact Save the Children is very innovative in this approach — we call it the ‘household economy approach’ — meaning we literally work out the economy of each household and how they manage their budgets.
This approach is my passion — I’m working with the United Nations to make sure everyone else is using it too! It is so efficient and truly assesses the situation of people affected.
With that in-depth knowledge we can really make sure we give the right help to the right people. To me, that is the ultimate job satisfaction.
Following my dream
It was always my dream to work for a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Niger. I am Nigerien and have always wanted to help my people and I saw how NGOs helped people very directly.
I followed this dream to university where I chose to study agronomy — agriculture and how it is used.
By 2005 I was working for Save the Children. In fact this is my third job with Save the Children — I started in my home town, Zinder, as a Nutrition Supervisor six years ago and have slowly worked my way up to my current job.
So now I am working on what I know best — planning and running food security and livelihoods programmes in this emergency.
We are using all the information gathered from the household assessment information and distributing support and food to the most vulnerable families.
This support means helping families to buy the food and items they need to earn a living, for example, tools to farm their land.
I hope my work will really make a difference to the people affected by this crisis in 2012.
Please donate to our Niger Appeal