EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Meet Gianpaolo Gullotta, the New AGL PDO Coordinator

Q & A session with Gianpaolo Gullotta, the New Coordinator of the Salesian Planning and Development Office in the Africa of Great Lakes (Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda) Province.

By Ange de la Victoire DUSABEMUNGU

It is about a few days ago that you came here in Rwanda to assume new responsibilities in the PDO office here in Kigali and of course coordinating the Office’s work in three countries namely Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi, countries whose economic power has some similarities.

I am very sure that everyone is curious to know more about you and what you bring in AGL of course for the benefits of young people and strengthening the PDO so that it can respond to the mission of Salesians in this region.

My first question to you:

Would you start by telling us who is the new PDO-AGL coordinator? In terms of social life and Work experience.

I have been working as an aid worker since 2011, I have been to many places: Perù, Haiti, Dominica Republic, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Zambia and Cameroon. But most of my time I was in Ghana working as VIS Country Representative and strengthening the AFW PDO. I know the Salesian world.

How do you feel about your new roles in AGL?

It is a fantastic opportunity to work in a new region, and I believe that there are many opportunities to be grasped for helping vulnerable youth.

Within the few days that you are here in Rwanda, what impression do you have?

Kigali is a beautiful city, I appreciate the cleanliness of the streets and the beauty of the flowers everywhere. It is a good place to be.

Your work will bring impacts to the Salesian Works in Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, we call the togetherness of these countries the Africa of Great Lakes Province.  There are a lot of issues especially including economic and Youth issues among them access to quality education, lack of employment opportunities. How are you going to support the Salesian mission to deal with that through the PDO office?

First of all, I would like to analyze the level of the PDO through a participatory self-assessment, then I will plan a capacity development plan in order to strengthen the PDO’s skills. At the same time I would try to fill the gaps in terms of missing tasks and finally I will think about expanding the project interventions in all the three countries.

What are your priority areas as the new coordinator of this office?

Efficiency and effectiveness of the aid provided.

What are you expecting from the new team that you will be working with on day-to-day roles?

A good relationship as well as friendship, in order to achieve important results for the vulnerable youth.

What do you recommend to the team so that the expected results are maximized in short-term and long-term view?

Only one thing, working together, sharing proposals and doubts

In the recent Interview with the General Economer Brother Muller, he raised the issue of fighting for a self-financing system in the Salesian mission, based on your experience, is it possible to develop the Self-financing system in this province, how are you posed on this matter?

I agree with Br. Muller’s vision. It is possible, the starting point is to diversify the funds, also foreseeing a local fundraising, especially in Rwanda where there are many important persons.

I will return again to your experience in Team work. What do you see as the main hindrance to Teamwork and how can that be avoided in general?

Do not have the patience to listen to others.

Can you briefly explain to me this answer: Do not have the patience to listen to others?

Yes, I mean that the major constraint that a person could have is not having the patience to listen to others. You need to listen to others if you would like to achieve good results.

As we get to the final of our Interview, what message do you have for the whole AGL that PDO will be coordinating? 

I would like to thank all the AGL people for their welcoming, and I hope to give my contribution for the improvement of the mission, dreaming of a better world as Don Bosco dreamt.

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