For Kevin Adou, Cord’s Country Director, it’s a two-second step across the cracked, tiled corridor from his ‘room’ to his office - the everyday ‘working from home’ in Cord’s small compound in the Chadian capital, N’Djamena.

There’s another commute that isn’t hours of flight-hopping across stony dry scrubland. For Kevin Adou, Cord’s Country Director, it’s a two-second step across the cracked, tiled corridor from his ‘room’ to his office - the everyday ‘working from home’ in Cord’s small compound in the Chadian capital, N’Djamena. It’s pleasant now, warm and sunny. A dry breeze rustles a few trees blooming with rich, red-pink flowers that compliment perfectly the shiny grey corrugated iron sheets and razor wire atop the outer wall alongside the road. This is the safer area of the city.

Kevin’s week started early, or rather very late, on Sunday night, at the airport meeting me. On Monday morning, as usual, he read a personal diary that describes the ambitions, in life and work he has set himself for the year ahead. “It is something important I keep in my mind when I start the week. I read it to remind myself to act when opportunities present”. “When I saw some of your visit is about planning, it fitted exactly what I wanted to do” he said to me. “Really”?! I replied, trying to disguise some scepticism. But as Kevin described his aspirations to motivate colleagues, build new programmes and develop his own skills as a Country Director, I could see a young man enthused for his work and what he might accomplish in a “mission of peace with Cord”.

Then down to it. Reading reports that arrived over the weekend from the refugee camps where most of Cord’s Chad team are working – the latest news about the programmes Cord operate, from the UN security office that might affect how Cord’s staff can travel to the camps; needing to be aware of everything because at the end of the day Kevin is responsible for Cord in Chad.
Managing the team to make sure everything about finance and people, logistics and programmes is correct. Going to meetings outside the office that take up three hours by the time you’ve gone through the city and back (such as with the non governmental organisation (NGO) Coordination in Chad network, security coordination or the Refugee Education Forum). Meeting with donor representatives and local NGOs Cord will work with on new projects – what we’ll do together and how as we tackle new ways to work with others, building relationships. Peace through partnership. “I try to be peaceful myself” says Kevin as I mention he seems very patient and calm amidst all this. “But sometimes being so close you don’t know if you are at home or at work”!

“We need to make some sacrifices to get some results. My family is not here so I set my mind to work...…it’s like that” says Kevin as a simple matter of fact. His life is divided into three-month chunks between which he has chance to go home to Ivory Coast for a couple of weeks. “My evening”? he laughs. “I’ll finish work about seven o’clock. There is a restaurant nearby so maybe I’ll go for some tea with a friend. I’ll call home and maybe watch some TV, read the Bible, pray”. Ready for tomorrow.

This visit to Chad is the first time I’ve met Kevin although we’ve talked every week for the past two months or so. But when I am back in my office and see the little green skype blob next to his name it will be more than a meeting waiting to happen. It has become someone with a plan and a passion. It is a whole new story.