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Mango members on placement: Andy Neeve in Myanmar with Johanniter International Assistance
Andy (left) on the field near Roxas in the Philippines, working on a project aimed at rebuilding the area following Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. The Typhoon killed 6,300 people and the project aims to build community resilience towards further natural disasters.
Andy Neeve, one of our long-time register members, is curretly the Regional Director of Finance and Administration at Johanitter Unfall Hilfe (Johanniter International Assistance). Below, Andy shares his experiences of his placement, made through Mango, both in the office and in the field.
"My role with Johanniter is not my first with Mango - I've been a Mango member for more than a decade now and I was previously placed with VSO in Nepal and ADD International in the UK. My previous roles also involved management of finance and operations, although I'm now based in Yangon, Myanmar, which has been an exciting change!
"Johanitter started life as a very humanitarian charity, focusing mainly on disaster relief, but these days we are starting to concentrate on long-term sustainable projects. In terms of disaster relief we are also very focused on learning from previous aid efforts and to prepare for any future natural disasters to ensure that the next response is quicker and more effective. I particularly enjoy my role with Johanitter as I get the chance to really get involved with work in the field. I spend a lot of time visiting field offices in the region, such as in Laos, Cambodia and the Phillippines; we also previously had offices in Indonesia, which closed a couple of months ago. As well as travelling around South East Asia, I also travel to the headquarters of Johanitter in Germany every now and again.
"Johanitter's approach means we do not implement directly, instead we work through local partners and focus on building their own capacity to facilitate effective humanitarian aid and sustainable development projects. It has been particularly rewarding to get involved at the grassroots level again. When I interact with local partners, I believe it is important that I listen carefully to what they tell me about their challenges and goals, and I aim to help them to build programmes that are more effective, sustainable and financially transparent. My role is essentially a support role and it is not down to me to dictate to locals what they should do, but instead to build their capacity so that they are able to confidently deal with the financial and operational requirements of running development programmes independently."
To find out more about how you can become a Mango member, click here.