Interview with Grace à Dieu

Deputy Project Manager at Première Urgence Internationale in Bangui
26 May 2020

Grâce à Dieu has been working at the PUI warehouse since 16 February 2015. After leaving the University of Bangui, Grâce worked for Sucaf and Mocaf, two Central African companies. Shortly after starting in the PUI warehouse, and in addition to his daily work as a Deputy Project Manager, Grâce became responsible for organising stock management trainings every two months for national staff members working in the warehouse. These training sessions are open for all logistics employees of any humanitarian organisation (local and international NGOs and UN agencies), partner or not of the PUI warehouse with the support of the Humanitarian funds and USAID/OFDA.

Trainings have been held since 23 October 2018, and for each session the waiting list is long. Grâce’s expertise in stock management makes him the designated teacher, instructing participants on rules of storage, entry and exit procedures, calculation of volumes, loading plans, management of expiry dates, security of property, people and buildings, as well as other principles related to stock management. Calculation of volumes is a recurring challenge, which when an inaccurate entry or exit is requested, falls on the responsibility of PUI’s workers at the warehouse to recalculate the actual volume.

Grâce stresses the importance of trainings to strengthen the capacity of partners. This is key in order to "manage the stock of goods as accurately as possible, while avoiding losses and shortages". Often, partners haven’t had the opportunity to be trained before becoming operational, and trainings allow them to develop new methods and to discuss potential problems encountered when receiving goods. During the second day of the training, participants take part in a simulation of stock entry, directly at the PUI warehouse, which puts into practice the different learnings. The training is also an opportunity for participants to share their experiences, between old and newcomers to CAR, and to develop a network between storekeepers.

As the PUI warehouse is growing in CAR with multiple projects and activities, a full-time trainer is being recruited, proof of the need for capacity building in the country. Grâce hopes to continue working for PUI and wishes to improve his English, so that he may strengthen the capacity of national colleagues in countries other than CAR.