‘Working for WFP is a passion for me’ — Bintou Mangara, Mali
Efforts to help others have taken place against backdrop of conflict and instability
With 17 years’ humanitarian experience under her belt, Bintou joined the World Food Programme two years before Mali was plunged into crisis. As we celebrate humanitarians across the globe for World Humanitarian Day (19 August 2017), here is her story.
Bintou had been working for the World Food Programme (WFP) for about two years when violence broke out in northern Mali, where she was based, in January 2012.
“As soon as the North was liberated again in 2013, I volunteered to go back to Timbuktu, even though the situation had not been completely stabilized,” recalls Bintou.
“The country office tasked me with managing the WFP warehouses while they recruited logistics staff. Conditions were very hard — it was difficult to move around and security was a concern. In spite of this, we managed to distribute 4,000 tons of food.”
When the logistics staff arrived in 2014, Bintou went on to become nutrition focal point in the Timbuktu office.
“I plan and follow up on interventions and activities to prevent and treat malnutrition,” she explains. In Mali, one in three children under the age of 5 is malnourished, a condition which can affect physical and cognitive development.
“Working for WFP is a passion for me,” says Bintou. “What I like about WFP is that we go to whatever lengths it takes to reach the people who need us — women, children, the most vulnerable.”
With a background in administration and 17 years’ previous experience with humanitarian and development organizations, Bintou also appreciates some of the more technical aspects of the way WFP works.
“I feel that our strategies and procedures are clear and precise, and the assistance we give is well monitored in terms of who receives what quantity of what — and the quality of it,” Bintou says. “And I like our zero-tolerance policy towards waste and misuse of funds,” she adds.
Original interview by Cécilia Aspe, WFP Mali
Learn more about WFP’s work in Mali.