grantees » Dodzi Koku Kameti-Ati, 1975

Dodzi Koku Kameti-Ati, Togo

Dodzi is an environmental sociologist. He began working with NGOs as a social worker, and after a few years realized the importance of working for the environment. Dodzi has been working with the Young Volunteers for the Environment (JVE) Togo since 2006, and today, he is a Programme Coordinator specializing in the energy, resource management and education for eco-citizenship programmes. He has also greatly improved his understanding of solar technology to disseminate solar lanterns in rural areas to empower the socio-economic status of women.

With the JWH initiative grant, Dodzi followed a 3 month intensive English language course and passed the TOEFL exams, which opened a lot of new doors for him. He describes his experience succinctly with a Togolese expression: “you have to sit before you can lie down on the bed”, meaning the new skills he learnt were the first but absolutely crucial step on his productive and efficient path in promoting sustainable development. Consequently, his confidence has skyrocketed; “[In early 2012] I was in Nigeria and Ghana (both English-speaking countries) taking part in international high-level English conferences where there was no translation. I was proud of myself when I was sharing experiences of my organization on the topics discussed in English.” He has also been able to follow a 3-month internship with JVE Ghana in Accra, all in English. Also, his new language skills have been a benefit to his organization for they no longer need to pay for external translation. Similarly, Dodzi took the initiative to help the rest of his organization improve their skills: “I’ve established an English day in my office. Every Friday, all colleagues speak English.” Overall, it has been an enormous benefit to his leadership capacities by enabling him to access a much wider network of organizations, communications and trainings. His greatest acheivement is that “now, people are aware of the challenges we are facing and we can address the developmental and environmental challenges. In the communities we’re working with, people are changing their way of life for the better. Women especially are now the ones leading their communities.” Dodzi stresses the importance of capacity-building, and that “before you act, you must know” about the issues in the field. In this line, he now plans to follow a Masters degree in Natural Resources Management and Sustainable Development locally, in order to remain close to his organization and his work.

Contact

http://www.jve-international.org

dekamesti@yahoo.fr

Other:

Tel: +228 22 20 01 12

Skype: johndekamesti