Since a lot of people enjoyed the last video, here’s another quick video intro on what I do as a Field Communications Fellow! Plus a really beautiful view at the beginning of the Congo River.

Soundtrack: “C’est Ma Terre” by Christophe Maé (I felt the song needed to be in French to fit in)

Special thanks to Danielle, my new 8-year-old friend who helped hold my camera tripod for me in the wind and to whom I gave my first English lesson.


A bit more on my current work at HOPE Congo:

My days at HOPE Congo vary greatly. One lesson I’ve learned in the first few months is that going out to capture content in the field requires far less time than sorting, labeling and uploading pictures and video in the office. After interviewing clients I have notes to write up and recordings to listen to, making sure I wrote down all their quotes correctly. Some days I have meetings with HOPE staff in Lancaster, PA, and others find me running upstairs and down here at the office talking with our driver M. Adrien to work out a schedule, our finance and operations managers and loan officers.

On occasion I get to don my investigative journalist hat and dig into the community bank records seeking another phone number, specific details on the loan sizes a specific client took out two years ago, or other personal details for a story. I’ll confess that at these times I feel a little bit like Lois Lane, and that’s quite all right with me.

Assignments and days vary (there will be a post soon on what a day at HOPE Congo looks like!), but some examples of my projects thus far include:

-Tracking down a client to make wooden frames for our client photos to put up in the office (helping out with the HOPE visual brand)

-Interviewing and photographing clients

-Explaining KIVA to groups during loan disbursements and completing group profiles with stories and photos that are placed online at the beginning of each month. These bring in more funding to our particular office, and involve lots of back-end excel work

-Helping create and implement a client survey to gather feedback on what is working well and what we need to improve. This survey also obtained some hard data to help HOPE Congo determine where to open a second branch in Brazzaville based on client location

-Computer help to any staff members who need it, from PowerPoint to Excel, Word and internet problems

-Blogging, organizing photos and video content and  writing up lots of notes on everything I learn and witness


*Bonus points if you catch where I say a word in the French way instead of the English version in the video!

1 comment on “Video: Hello From Congo!”

  1. Loved the video Mara! You seem to be doing great, interesting work and look healthy and happy! I’m so proud of you!

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