Interview with Winfried Scheewe (organic agriculture, Cambodia)

What is your professional background?

I’m an agricultural engineer, but I also completed a commercial apprenticeship.

What is your job as a development worker?

Since October 2010 I’ve been advising the Cambodian Organic Agriculture Association (COrAA), an association of cooperatives, small businesses, farmers and non-governmental organisations working to promote organic agriculture in Cambodia.

Why did you decide to become a GIZ development worker?

It was the chance to become involved in the field of rural development that made up my mind.

Tell us about a typical working day.

Since the partner organisation has relatively few employees, I spend some of my working time communicating with members, but also with other interested groups and individuals, generally by email. In addition, I advise colleagues and board members on their numerous and very diverse activities. Sometimes I accompany colleagues when they visit members in rural areas.

How do you find working for GIZ’s Development Service?

I had previously worked for a smaller seconding organisation, but I see the advantages of a larger organisation, which can provide direct support to development workers in partner countries if required.

What has been your most important experience as a development worker?

My work is very varied and frequently takes unexpected turns, which then lead to new activities that were not originally planned. I’m constantly having to acquire new knowledge.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to work for GIZ’s Development Service as a development worker?

It is, of course, important to be well prepared in technical terms and in terms of advisory methods, but it’s at least as important to be patient and flexible so that you can respond to unforeseen developments and requirements.