It is with great excitement that I take part in this amazing journey with the Global Waste Cleaning Network (GWCN). With a background in international relations and a Master’s Degree in Peacekeeping Management, my skills support the work that GWCN invests in and advocates for, both in a local and global context. Before coming to GWCN, my experience has primarily focused on work in Brazil, Sudan, Guinea-Bissau, Cambodia, East-Timor and Switzerland. My professional body of work includes: international migration and returnees, victims of human trafficking, political affairs, electoral assistance and support, and humanitarian coordination. Having this diversified work experience has supported a fulfilling career that is centered on increasing the quality of life of those at-risk or lacking equity. The knowledge and cultural competence that I have acquired from collaborative international work with GWCN has given me the capacity to uncover, research, and manage diverse topics for international interests, evidence-based interventions and sustainable initiatives.

The pandemic and all the challenges that have come with it provided an urgency and motivation to tackle current issues. Innovations have created new opportunities such as remote working and in turn the right people with the right skills can collaborate worldwide and increase efficiency and effectiveness of international efforts which often times struggle because a lack of awareness and support. I decided to focus specifically on environmental issues. After having worked for various international organizations, I have been exposed to many environmental issues and I was attracted to GWCN’s mission and potential growth. Onboarding with them was easy and the opportunity for collaborative teamwork has been both beneficial and enjoyable.

Initially, I was brought on as part of incredible multi-cultural cohort of specialized volunteers with diverse and valuable backgrounds. As a Senior Membership Officer, my responsibilities included researching organizations and companies that have complementary interests with GWCN, and then contacting them to gain interest in a networking partnership through membership. Within just a couple of months, I covered several geographical areas from around the globe and my contribution significantly increased memberships! I was so excited about it. I have been very impressed with the structuring and planning of GWCN’s team-based initiatives. They were so well planned and executed. One of the things that I most amazed with was how supportive and responsive GWCN’s leadership has been. Taking advantage of the new technologies and communication strategies, most of the work is done online by teammates who are spread throughout the world. It is really fascinating to be a part of such an effort. Separated by great distances geographically, we managed to work and communicate as if our workspaces are right next to each other. After the completion of my initial objectives I was recognized for my work and as someone who believes in the GWCN mission. For this, I was honored to take a place on the Management Team as the Strategic Memberships Manager. In this capacity, I have been able to provide support and guidance to incoming volunteers through strategic planning and communications.

Overall, it has been a very a truly satisfying experience to create connections, and foster partnerships. I am very grateful to be a part of GWCN. It has already been personally enriching and I am excited for new opportunities and capabilities as we grow both our network and research worldwide. I am also proud of the positive impact we have had in building awareness about environmental global initiatives and I know this impact will go even further to create beneficial outcomes through collective action as GWCN expands and brings onboard more and more members. I look forward to welcoming more influential organizations as members of GWCN for the one goal of a better world. After all, it really is all about shared responsibility and protecting this place where we live — Our Earth.