Benedict Omare ’14 (Kenya)
“MESPOM changed how I work and how I approach problems”
An interview with MESPOM alumnus Benedict Aboki Omare ’14 (Kenya)
What are you currently doing?
I work as an Associate Programme Officer at the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) which is administered by UNEP. I am based in Bonn, Germany.
How did you get to know of this opportunity?
I worked as an intern and consultant for the same organization at its nascent stages when it was still based in Nairobi. I was head hunted while still doing my Masters thesis to provide logistical and administrative support when the organization was formally established and set up in Bonn.
How did MESPOM impact your life – professionally and/or personally?
MESPOM changed how I work and how I approach problems. The GIS and modelling classes were particularly useful to me as they widened my horizons and exposed me to different problem solving techniques and tips on accessing data sources. The sustainable tourism class was also great and it has helped to inspire the tourism project I am setting up in Kenya. Above all, MESPOM connected me with great minds and friends that I continue to work with.
At a personal level, MESPOM brought me to Europe and allowed me to be with my long-term girlfriend who eventually became my wife and mother of my children. The scholarship was also great!
Any future plans?
Besides getting a job while doing my Masters, I also had 2 children back to back. I plan to stay in my current and exciting job in Bonn and provide my family with a stable start. I am also working on an agrotourism, adventure and citizen science project in Kenya. I purchased some land where I will be putting up a people and environmentally friendly village.