Kenya doesn’t have to lock up its daughters

So I had a job interview with the Red Cross, through Vodafone’s World of Difference program. The job, based in Kenya, witch required building a web-based framework from which it would be straightforward to roll out individual websites for the organization’s field offices, would start in January.

Though the interview went quite well, twice I was told the interviewers thought I was over qualified for the position and, emphasizing the possibility I might get bored after a few months and bow out, asked what I estimated the chances would be of me actually doing so. Not a totally unreasonable question, I’d think, but also not too relevant. Anyone might quit their job for any single and unpredictable reason. Just because there is one identifiable reason doesn’t mean it’s more likely I will quite before the end of the contract than anyone else would.
Also, with Kenya apparently going down the drain quickly, the Red Cross, I was told, is now comparatively restrictive as they were in Afghanistan when I was there. Back then, a few people I hung out with worked for the Red Cross, but never were able to come out at night or drive themselves anywhere because of their organization’s security restrictions. In short, they were living in gilded cages for their time in country. Back there, these employees were giving lots of R&R outside of the country, in compensation. Every few months, they were given a plane ticket to more lofty surroundings with less restrictions. However, for the Kenya gig, only one ticket, the one used to get there, would be issued, so this could indeed prove to be a rather restrictive position.

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Then, to top things off, I was told of one particular line in the vacancy as well as the underlying ideology of Vodafone’s program: to give individuals who otherwise would not be able to work in the international development sector an opportunity to go out and build experience.
Indeed, judging from my CV, I hardly fit that bill. So I started kicking and screaming, throwing chairs through windows and all. Or wait, maybe I just imagined that.

To my surprise, and judging from her reaction when the ‘winner’ was called out, also to hers, it then wasn’t Marnix who got the job, but Rowena. Interestingly, Marnix would have gone south both with his wife and four children. As the Red Cross didn’t consider this vacancy a ‘family position’, that could have been unfunnily expensive for him.
For the five jobs up for grabs, four were scooped up by women. In fact, the majority of candidates (17 out of 25) were women.

MTV was hired as a production company to shoot a 3 minute video of the event. The video won’t be aired on MTV but should show up on the Vodafone site some time in the near future.