Je transpire plus que prevu

This week marks the start of my second week working at La Fondation Scelles, and I can’t wait for the weeks to come.  I love my job!!! I love my coworkers, I love my company, and I love the job I am doing. I also still love living in Paris, it feels just as dreamy this week as it did last.  The weather has been very weird here- when I first arrived I was lamenting not having brought more jackets, but now I sweat like a sinner in church every time I leave a building for more than 30 seconds.  Additionally, I now understand why the French are so skinny because they eat microscopic portions of obnoxiously healthy food, and walk 6 miles and 25 flights of stairs every day in the natural path of their lives (see attached photo of my walking on a normal day). By the time I get home, I’m going to have insane calves, and the eating habits of a 4oz bird.

The line of business for my organization is interesting because, in the NGO world, it is somewhat difficult to define a ‘product’.  La Fondation Scelles publishes a book every two years detailing the state of prostitution and human trafficking in many countries in the world, as well as many other smaller publications and collaborations with other organizations- this is what I will consider their ‘product’.  The product is produced through the combined efforts of many interns and students completing their ‘service civique’ over the course of the year following the end of the window covered in the book, as well as the continuous efforts of the staff to collect news about the subject matter in each country as it is reported.  The raw materials and inputs required are data and statistics about the subject matter generated by governments and other NGOs, as well as news reported for context within the country and the timeframe. These materials are required through active effort of the Fondation- it reaches out to companies it thinks have similar missions and engage them in a written collaboration agreement to exchange information and resources.  This data is also acquired through official publications from various world governments and NGOs. The product is then distributed to customers via presentations of the book to various heads of state as well as multiple IGOs (like the UN and the EU). The political climate of the countries being written about as well as the countries being presented to is an obvious contingency that is difficult to navigate, because as administrations change there is no way to predict with certainty what policies they will adopt and how they will respond to what could be perceived as criticism.  The only possible safety concern when producing the product is that the subject matter is extremely harrowing and can take a toll on an employee without the proper precautions. The environmental factors within the country being written about must be considered when creating the product; this is why the Fondation uses contemporary news articles from the country when writing to ensure the environment is accounted for. The workforce must have strong language skills, research abilities, a knowledge of politics and and contemporary global issues, and the ability to manipulate data within context to build a complete picture.

Once more, I love my job and Paris, and I couldn’t be happier.

Until next time!

Madeleine

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