Team Director for the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning, Manager for the Graduates & Alumni Team, ASHINAGA HQ
While studying at my university in Paris, a chain of random events brought me to discover Ashinaga.
While on campus one day, I heard that one of my teachers had canceled his class, and I had a two-hour gap before the next one. As I was about to head to the cafeteria for a break, I passed in front of the career office and remembered I needed to look for an internship for the summer. The lady working there welcomed me, and while we were chatting, a little sound from her inbox suddenly resonated. After looking at it, she told me there was an internship offer in an organization called “Ashinaga” that could interest me. The first thing I did when I arrived home was write my CV and cover letter. After an interview, I was selected for the 2014 summer internship and entered Ashinaga for the first time. My experience is a bit difficult to describe; it was a mixture of understanding how I could become helpful to others, meeting incredible people every day, some of whom had overcome tremendous challenges in their lives, but especially being so inspired by Tamai’s dedication. Ashinaga’s mission is something I felt passionate about and wanted to be part of.
Eventually, I was asked, “Would you like to work for our new office in Senegal?” I didn’t need to think about it; it was all decided. It has been over eight years, and I haven’t regretted anything.
When I first entered Ashinaga as a staff, it was to create the first Study Camp in Ashinaga Senegal. It was the beginning of the Ashinaga Africa Initiative, and I and a couple of other staff members oversaw this new francophone office at the most western point of Africa. The task was enormous. In a month, we had to equip the dormitory for the students and interns, create a curriculum, work on legal registrations, and ensure everyone would arrive in a safe and welcoming environment.
Step by step, things started to fall into place. During my time in Dakar, I saw many students pass by the Ashinaga Senegal office, and each one of them has taught me many meaningful lessons. In the sector of education and leadership, the possibilities to improve a program are infinite. Although the work seemed never to end, our students’ strength and motivation provided me with energy every day. Going to work and surrounded by dedicated staff members and hard-working students was always a pleasure.
After some time, I had the opportunity to participate more in our students’ adventure when they were studying at university and transferred to the Ashinaga France office. The experience there taught me a lot about how we could support our Scholars during their studies and how our own work could be tailored to adapt to each of their needs. After my time in Ashinaga Senegal and Ashinaga France, I decided to come to work at our headquarters in Japan. Working in Ashinaga Japan has been exactly what I had envisioned. There are a lot of possibilities for leadership development here, and it gives a great feeling to be able to participate in our Scholars growth from this side of the world as well while witnessing the Japanese side of the organization. As the manager for the Graduates & Alumni Team and also the team director for the Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning of the AAI, I appreciate the very multicultural and professional aspects of the work, with everyone always brainstorming on how we can ensure the success of our program and witnessing the AAI Alumni’s significant impact in the world.