Manama Shapers

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Interview with Maryam Al Sadah, Programme & Communications Analyst at UNDP.

What does your role as Programme & Communications Analyst for UNDP involve and what challenges do you face in this role?

My role requires me to wear two hats: one as a programme analyst, and the other as a communications analyst. As a programme analyst, I implement programme strategies with a focus on youth development, socio-economic development and inclusion. As a communication analyst, I design and implement strategies for communications and outreach. It is a wonderful, challenging role that keeps me on my toes most days!

One of the key challenges that I face is translating our research and concepts into programs that is implementable.Ultimately, our main goal is to provide support through our programmes towards achieving national priorities- which is a huge responsibility.

How has being the Program Coordinator for Rayaat helped you in your current role?

Rayaat is a brilliant, non-profit program that provides scholarships to students in Bahrain. As a Program Coordinator, I was responsible for coming up with new, innovative ideas to improve the Rayaat experience, among other things. The flexibility I was given to be creative permitted me to think outside the box, and provided me with the confidence I needed to grow professionally. However, I think the main thing about working for Rayaat that shaped who I am today is the hard, selfless and passionate work that I witnessed every single day from the team. Being a part of that instilled in me the values of selflessness and giving back and helped me realize that I wanted to better serve my community.

How are you able to live your passions (social development, gender equality, and youth engagement) in your job?

My job provides the perfect platform for me to engage myself in my passions. Since the nature of our work involves serving the communities we are found in, I am able to experience first-hand the impact programmes and initiatives have on them. Almost all our projects include aspects of social development, gender equality and youth engagement- for example, there is currently a project being developed that aims to promote inclusion for individuals with special needs through increasing their access to wheelchairs that offer them more mobility than standard wheelchairs.

Why did you join the Global Shapers community?

The Global Shapers community is unique in that it is a global network of under 30 year olds working together in different cities to improve their communities. I’ve always wanted to “make a difference”, but I knew doing so alone would be difficult. Now, with 20 other likeminded, inspiring individuals it is definitely possible!

What are your goals as a Shaper?

My goals as a Shaper are to better serve my community, to raise awareness on gender equality in our region and to think about sustainable solutions to the challenges Bahrain is currently facing in areas such as the environment, education, housing and others.

What do you like doing in your free time?

I like to read and write. I recently finished “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi, and it is taking me some time to recover! When I’m not reading or writing, I am daydreaming about traveling.

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