After 12 years of leadership at the association's headquarters, why this return to the field?
I lived and worked for years in Nepal, and I missed the direct contact with the field. The opportunity arose to go to Laos to implement a new project, as well as to supervise our activities in Nepal and Vietnam. I jumped at the chance!
We made a study on the needs of the populations in the neighboring countries of the countries where we are already established. Laos emerged as the poorest country with many families in great difficulty, strong inequalities and a very low level of education.
What is the impact of the current health crisis on projects in Asia?
In Laos where I lived during the containment period, there are few Covid-19 patients registered because the borders were quickly closed. On the other hand, for Nepal, the closure of schools for 9 months and the absence of tourists are devastating. I fear that this crisis will lead to a massive school dropout and an unprecedented economic crisis for a country that is already very underdeveloped.
What do you wish for 2021?
I hope that this will be the "year after", the one that makes us aware of our past mistakes in order to move forward. We have lived through a difficult year but we have learned and we know that solidarity is the only way for humanity to progress.
Finally, how do you see PE&D in 10 years?
I see the association becoming more recognized for its expertise in the field of Early Childhood. I also think that we will expand our areas of intervention and integrate more actions with a positive impact on the environment because it is essential.
Thanks to Stéphanie Selle!