Meet the Mercy Corps team: Mercy, Uganda
As part of our Meet Mercy Corps series, we’re celebrating some of our incredible staff members around the world. Meet Mercy, a Senior Operations Manager in Uganda.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Mercy Florah Lapolo and I joined Mercy Corps Uganda three years ago as Senior Operations Manager. I have a busy office role working with and supporting all of our field programming. In Mercy Corps Uganda we train farmers and cooperatives in business skills and help link them to markets so that they can get the best price for crops. We also spend time in rural villages promoting maternal-child health and nutrition programs, including village-level mother groups that encourage healthy behavior change.
When I’m not at work I spend lots of time with my energetic 7-year-old daughter Ruby. I’m also studying and will be completing my Masters in Business Management this year.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Very busy! My day starts early, I get up around 5:30 am to make breakfast for me and Ruby. Then I get her ready for school and once she’s off I drive to work which takes about 1 – 2 hours from my house.
Once I’m in the office I set key priorities for the day, every day can be different. I spend a lot of time coordinating with program staff, ensuring that their programs are running efficiently and effectively. This involves meetings with staff and suppliers, trainings, logging information. I believe that my roles in Operations is vital to ensure that Mercy Corps’ programming in Uganda is the best it can be.
I finish work at 5:30 and then spend some time on my school work before driving home and spending the evening with my daughter. I usually get to bed about midnight! Long days but they are worth it.
What motivates you?
My daughter, I want more for her and other children in Uganda. So I ensure that I set an example of hard work and love. I’m both a mother and a father to her and I take this responsibility very seriously. She knows that if you work hard, you will have a better life.
Tell us about something that makes you really proud of your program?
My country has a large number of young, energetic and empowered staff who are committed to seeing programs through and empowering people in my country. The thing that makes me really proud at the moment is the commitment of one team who are quick to change their community approach by listening to their needs and taking action. I think this is innovative and will have a lasting impact on this community. Their commitment makes me proud.
What do you do in your spare time?
As I’m studying I rarely have spare time. On the weekends if Ruby is with her aunt I will dedicate my free time to studying, sometimes from 7 am – 9 pm!
I also enjoy singing, dancing and playing with my daughter. She is the most important person in my life and I love spending my time with her.