Richard is one of CEDOVIP’s most important behind the scenes employees. Although he does not travel into communities like some of CEDOVIP’s other staff members, Richard has an extremely important role in making sure that CEDOVIP continues to prevent violence against women and girls and HIV-- he maintains our daily accounting operations. Without Richard’s help, CEDOVIP would not be able to operate. His sense of humor and energetic personality make the office a more fun place to work.
Question: What did you study school?
Richard: At university I studied Bachelors of commerce teaches financial management both internally within yourself and externally within an organization. It means a lot of managing books for accounts.
Did you always consider yourself good with money?
It varies. It is easy to manage money for a company. It’s the difference between someone putting you in charge versus being in charge of yourself. Mostly I have been designated, and I like to do a good job.
Why did you choose to study commerce?
I actually had a hard time choosing what to study. I decided to look at jobs that were advertised to make a decision. I loved math, and it was the most available job. Seeing those jobs advertised helped me select a course on campus.
So what were you doing before you found CEDOVIP?
I was working. I worked part time for CMF, a commercial bank. Then I went to Warid Telecom. From there I shifted to CEDOVIP.
Why did you decide to work at CEDOVIP?
There were two things. At that time, warid telecom was closing, so I was looking for a job. But I also wanted a change. I was in Telecom for five years. I saw the opening and applied. I wanted a feel for how an NGO works. I wanted to work with a donor-funded organization and see how it interlink in the different environments and how it survives. CEDOVIP was the opportunity available that matched my requirements.
Did you have interest in domestic violence prevention ahead of time or did it come with working with CEDOVIP?
It was always at the back of my mind, but I became enlighten after working here. When you come here, you go in depth about the issues and get to know some of the things that you take for granted.
What has been the biggest change in yourself that you have seen since working here?
My old workplace was very profit oriented and it made me a go getter. At CEDOVIP you have to learn to understand people. You do not just have a job to do but you have to understand people and how to treat them differently. Business is strict. Human rights organizations tend to understand both the job and individuals instead of being so money oriented. So now I understand the staff very well. If the staff is not well, they cannot do their job well. In business no one cares, but in an NGO, that’s what matters most. I have also appreciated the teaching factor. Once you understand people, you start seeing results.
What is your favorite thing about working at CEDOVIP?
CEDOVIP is a family where no one will judge your background or where you come from. They always encourage each other. They guide you and understand where you fit within the organization.
What is your favorite memory from CEDOVIP?
When I was just coming here, my boss did not know the local language well. When he would say something, I didn’t understand him well. His accent was very different. Whenever he told me something, I always thought it was something else. So people used to correct me and tease me. To me it was funny, but now it’s fine. It’s still funny, but now I know what he means. If someone else comes though, they will go through the same thing.
Who is your favorite celebrity activist?
Bobi Wine. He has been a public figure and he sends messages through music. Politicians may put him down, but he doesn’t care. He speaks out anyways regardless of it hurting his business. It really inspires me that money is not his only motivator. You might say he reached the peak of his career, but he is willing to forego that to stand for what he believes in.
What are your other passions besides your business degree and CEDOVIP’s work?
I love sports. All of them. Football, rugby, tennis, squash. Sometimes I struggle watching American football because I don’t understand it. I kind of gave up on basketball and I rarely watch baseball. But I will still watch any sport if it is on TV. My favorite athlete is Michael Jordan. I was amazed that he could play two sports at the same time. I have also never heard of him having a scandal.