Jan Olav came from the position as International Director in Norwegian Church Aid, and will now move with FK Norway to Førde, where the organisation will be situtated from August 2018.
Can you tell us about a few experiences through your work in Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and how that inspired you to continue your work with development and global partnerships?
My visits to the NCAs offices in Juba in South Sudan and Kabul in Afghanistan made a deep impression. The way people and colleagues were supporting and strengthening the civil society in times of war and high personal tension was an eyeopener to me. They told me, the reason for being able to continue the work in spite the fragile situation, were the relations with other civil society organisations in other countries, which they knew would continue their support to South Sudan and Afghanistan. The fact that international relations on a personal level and institutional level make a difference to people really inspire me in my work in FK Norway! And, by the way, on my very first trip to Geneva for NCA, I met a former FK participant from Kenya, who now works in Geneva! What a great surprise!
What is the motivation behind your desire to lead FK Norway ahead?
First and foremost, it is the mandate of FK Norway which still attracts me very much: To avail young volunteers and professionals to exchange services and participate in the development of their communities and workplaces. Secondly, I am attracted to moving to the west coast of Norway!
How can FK Norway contribute to development?
Through the exchange of personnel, organisations, businesses, and institutions are able to strengthen their work towards a more just world. And also, the months and up to a year on exchange is to very many people a starting point to be a change agent for life where they use their skills and network to push the world in a better direction.
What is your most important task at the moment?
Right now, it is to make sure that FK staff work at their very best to support all the projects and exchanges which are currently ongoing. It is also to make sure that we establish our new office in Førde within 1st of August and ensure that we bid farewell to our esteemed employees in Oslo in style.
Is it anything special you hope to achieve during the next two years?
I do hope to achieve a successful move from Oslo to Førde, and I hope to have started and finalized the new strategy for FK Norway by next summer. Relating to the forthcoming development of our strategy, I am looking forward to engage with partners of FK Norway abroad and home in order to understand what you all think we can adjust and do differently the next 3 to 5 years in order to still be an important tool for development.