International NGO Safety Organisation

Meet INSO

Lucas

Function: Safety Advisor
Location: The Central African Republic (CAR)
Nationality: French

Lucas, an INSO Safety Advisor based in Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR), says since starting he has discovered just how much NGOs value the support INSO provides.

So, you’re a Safety Advisor in CAR. What does that entail day to day?

Every day, I check the information which my team receives from different sources in the area I cover. Once the information is verified, I either add it to our database or, if it has a direct impact on NGOs in my area, I share it with them as a report or alert. Drafting reports and verifying information are my main activities with INSO. To do so, I need to maintain regular contact with local authorities, as well as with the witnesses of events and our NGO partners. CAR is a country in conflict so the pace of this work can sometimes be intense, but it is essential for NGOs and I find it energizing.

What is your professional background?

Early on in my career and during my university studies, I had two volunteering experiences with NGOs – in Syria and Lebanon. After completing my Master’s in International Relations, I worked for a private company as a safety officer in charge of health and safety matters for its expatriate employees. Following this experience, I wanted to work again with NGOs and to put my knowledge of safety and security to work in the field. So I worked for a year in CAR with an international NGO before deciding to apply for this position as a Safety Advisor in CAR with INSO.

What led you to apply for the role as Safety Advisor in CAR?

I knew from my prior experience that INSO was one of the best NGOs working on safety and security analysis. In my previous roles with NGOs, I engaged with INSO on security matters and exchanged security analyses. INSO was particularly essential for my work when I was a Security Officer working with an international NGO. When I felt confident enough about my knowledge of the context in CAR I decided to apply, as I wanted to share this knowledge to facilitate others NGOs’ access within the country.

Is there anything that you’ve been surprised to learn about INSO?

What was most surprising for me to learn was the fact that we receive almost endless requests from NGOs daily. Before joining, I hadn’t realised that INSO was this important to NGOs or just how much they value our analysis. I was also really pleased to discover that we have a lot of freedom in determining where we need to travel in the field – of course, with the support of my colleagues to be sure that I can move around safely. Working as part of a coordinated team, I can go wherever I need to fulfil my mission.

What’s your message to new colleagues, or people consider a job with us?

They can expect a great position, with interesting work that is useful to the NGOs they will support.  You will develop excellent safety and security analysis skills, and build a strong humanitarian network in the country where they are working.

It’s also important to know that even if the working rhythm can be intense at times, working at INSO really does mean that you will be able to directly help people – and those people are directly helping others in need. They shouldn’t hesitate to apply.

What’s been your favourite moment with INSO so far?

My favourite moment so far has been when I went for a 400 km mission in CAR. It took us almost two weeks because of the poor conditions of the roads, but I learnt so much about the context during this field trip. It also strengthened the whole team I was working with, as we all endured the journey together.