felix Ngombala

Interview with Félix Ngombala, Stores Manager for Première Urgence Internationale:

Première Urgence Internationale’s warehouse is a shared storage platform, serving the entire humanitarian community. This warehouse sets a standard, and is very much a success for the NGO. At present, 17 partner NGOs working in the Central African Republic benefit from this pooled storage service.

Félix Ngombala, who currently occupies the job of Stores Manager for this logistics platform, tells us about the path that has brought him to Première Urgence Internationale and his daily life working for the platform. Married with two children, he has been working Première Urgence Internationale since February 2015. He started with the organisation as a manual worker, a post he held for 6 months. His dedication and knowledge then led him to be recruited as a warehouseman.

Today Félix is responsible for managing the goods in storage as well as the team working in the warehouse. He is now one of the cornerstones of the platform. On a daily basis, he checks on stock security and on the quality of service given to the organisation’s partners.

Félix talks to us about his work, and how his responsibilities have changed since he first started working for the platform.

What do you like about this logistics platform project?

‘This project is really important because it affects nearly all the NGOs working in the country. Through the logistical resources offered by the platform, NGOs can give very real support to our friends and families in the provinces affected by the many crises here. Mobilisation of the humanitarian community means that schools can be built, and that supplies can be brought to displaced people and shelters can be built for them. Taking care of our partners’ goods means that we can contribute to our country’s development and to lead it out of crisis.’

What has been your route within the platform?

‘Personally, getting a new job as manual worker for the platform made a big difference to my life. Thanks to my previous experience, I could put my skills to use with the warehouse project. At the beginning it wasn’t easy for my colleagues who hadn’t been trained in this area. As for me, my knowledge was welcomed and the warehouse manager saw that I could progress within the team. On the basis of my involvement, I was able to take a recruitment test for the warehouseman job.

I was employed as a warehouseman for 6 months, interspersed with training programmes which allowed me to build on my skills. And today I am Stores Manager.’

How has this new job changed your life?

‘This promotion has had an enormous impact on my personal life; I’m lucky to have a job in this crisis situation. I’ve been able to raise the standard of living for my family. To be honest, before working for Première Urgence Internationale I wasn’t able to send my children to school. My progression within the NGO has allowed me to pay their school fees, and to buy them clothes… Particularly as families in Central Africa have a broader sense, I’ve been able to support my parents, sisters and brothers, and all those around me in general. Première Urgence Internationale also offers us many training programmes, and I’ve been able to get training, for instance, in humanitarian principles, which helped me to understand the humanitarian context I’m living and working in. The organisation also let me do a training programme which helped me get to grips with management skills. This training has had a big effect on my personal and professional life. It gave me tools to be a good parent and family man, and if it is God’s wish, in the future, to manage a business if I have the opportunity to set one up.’

Félix’s ambition is to carve out a career in logistics. He really enjoys this line of work. With a twinkle in his eye and smile at the corner of his mouth, he finishes with the words ‘I wish the platform project great progress in years to come’.

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