Meet some current and former staff members
Mission East recognises that organisational achievements are the result of great people involved. Here some current and former staff members relate their experience of working with us.
Lizz Harrison, former employee in Nepal
"Mission East is a great organisation to work for and looks after staff well. The organisation has a real culture of reaching out to people living in remote and challenging situations, and I’ve seen this in practice in my work for Mission East in Nepal. I am proud to work for an organisation that highlights the importance of disaster risk reduction, inclusion of vulnerable and marginalised people, and building local skills for programme management. This approach will be the most sustainable way to really make a long-term difference in places where poverty and disasters still affect hundreds of thousands of people."
Rafi Doudaklian former employee
"I always wanted to serve in a position where I can make a difference. I want to help people and joining Mission East as a Country Director in Armenia from 2004 to 2016 was a great opportunity. As a Lebanese Armenian I know the language, the culture and the most pressing needs of the Armenian people.
Mission East is different from other organisations in several ways. First of all, the organisation’s focus is very much directed towards the individuals we are trying to help. There is an emphasis on efficiency to make sure that as many resources as possible are used directly for the beneficiaries. Secondly, Mission East is a relatively small organisation and thus benefits from less bureaucracy and paperwork. Thirdly, we value our employees. We don’t see them as figures or numbers but wish to treat them as whole persons and also meet their professional needs. Lastly, Mission East goes to places and helps people that no one else is reaching.
I see Mission East as a family-type organisation – because there are not thousands of employees, we are more connected to each other. There is a personal touch where everybody knows everybody and tries to help each other. We are connected through similar thinking.
I have been deeply involved in many aspects of the organisation, making strategies and even a mission to start-up Iraq operations in 2014. Although I no longer work for Mission East, I still feel very much attached to the organisation. You care for an organisation you have worked with for more than 10 years! Yes, once Mission East, always Mission East!"
Raffi Doudaklian now works as Executive Director for the Tufenkian Foundation.
Hamid Mehmood, employee in Iraq
“Mission East is an organisation where learning never stops. As an employer, Mission East provides thoughtful recognition to talented staff.
My career path was set early in October 2005 during the earthquake response in Pakistan. At that time, during my college leave, I volunteered to collect clothes donated by city dwellers and distributed them in earthquake-affected villages. There I had my first interactions with NGO staff, and was highly impressed by their enthusiasm and dedication. So, when I graduated, I started my NGO career, and have worked in support of teams in countries as diverse as Pakistan, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Thailand, Iraq, Jordan and Afghanistan. I joined Mission East in May 2014 and I have remained with them since, as I find this to be an organisation which really puts its values into action.
After three years in Afghanistan, in June 2017, I became Head of Program Support for Mission East Iraq operations. My current role is to direct and manage the team of Finance, Administration, Logistics and HR staff that work together to ensure Mission East’s mandate is carried out effectively. Every day is different especially working in a country affected by conflict, but overall, I ensure that support services tasks, procedures, paperwork and flows are delivered as per quality standards and in compliance with the organisational and donor policies and procedures. What I enjoy most in this job is the exposure to different responsibilities, working with colleagues from many different backgrounds and diverse professional fields. There is always something new to discover and to learn. The work environment provided by Mission East has taught me to see each challenge as an opportunity for professional growth. I have the privilege of learning from some incredibly talented and experienced colleagues (both based in HQ and at field office), and this helps me to stay focused and motivated.
Although I work thousands of kilometres from my family, the calling to help those in desperate need convinced me to remain in the field. Thanks to the support of my loved ones, I manage to strike a balance between my job and my family. I balance a hectic daily schedule by spending time in evening playing table tennis, watching documentaries or movies. During my leave, I particularly enjoy travelling with my family to hill stations in northern Pakistan. We enjoy quiet time together and the scenic views there.
Mission East provides its employees with an opportunity to do something meaningful and special with their talents. I would recommend it as a career choice, come and bring your passion and vision!"
Mags Bird, employee in the Brussels office
"There are many reasons to work for Mission East! I enjoy working in an organisation that’s small enough to be close to the ground, but big enough to make a real impact. I like the fact that the staff team is very mixed, a really international bunch. And it sounds a bit cheesy, but values really count too – even our recent CHS auditors commented on this – and my colleagues are genuinely committed.
I’m also motivated by the quality of programming. It doesn’t mean that Mission East is perfect and that everything always goes as planned, but compared to other organisations I’ve seen I think the projects Mission East does are definitely not just ‘one size fits all’ – a lot of effort and expertise goes into involving local partners and communities and running programmes which meet very specific and real needs.
I also like the fact that the organisation has the ethos of going the extra mile and working in hard-to-reach locations. This is challenging, but definitely something to be proud of. No one can accuse Mission East of ‘staying close to the main road.’ Quality is taken seriously, but common sense normally prevails in striving for accountability without excessive bureaucracy."