A Workplace with a View to the World

26-09-16
Working at DFC means meeting people from very different cultures.
Working at DFC means meeting people from very different cultures.

Ilselil Halby has retired after 38 years at Danida Fellowship Centre. Now she wants to travel even more, improve her French and learn to speak Arabic.

Text and photo: Jan Kjær, Better-World.dk

She walked in through the door for the first time 1st of October 1978 and left 31st of August 2016

From 1st of September Ilselil Halby is no longer a part of Danida Fellowship Centre (DFC). It´s hard to imagine after a staggering 38 years!!!

Different cultures

Although Ilselil graduated as an anthropologist she has been dealing with the finances at DFC since 1987 after working some years as a junior staff member.

“The job in itself was not really a dream job. I thought of a job dealing with finances to be a bit boring, like a job in a bank. However, I have enjoyed working at DFC due to the overall object of our work,” Ilselil explains.

She is fond of a workplace with a view to the world focusing on people from different cultures.

“And then I have had great colleagues. Even though we have often been very busy we always had time for a good laugh,” she adds.

Changes and challenges

DFC has grown a lot over the years.

“It has been a very exciting process to be part of. My assignments have changed and I have had to find my own way of solving issues,” she continues.

There have also been big challenges.

“DFC is part of a political landscape that continuously changes. Most of the changes have been positive, but recently many of them have not been great.” Ilselil reflects.

There are decisions she does not at all agree with, not least the decision to move DFC to the town of Holbæk in 2017.
“It is difficult to understand why we have to move. It does not make sense at all. I feel privileged being so old that I am able to say goodbye at this point.”

Learning Arabic

Ilselil is looking forward to having more time for her hobbies; languages and traveling.

“I will continue improving my French at Institute Francaise. And I have an ambition to learn a new language. I am fascinated by Arabic. It is beautiful. Not least in writing.”

And the traveling has already started. She just returned from Paris, one of her favourite towns. And Morocco is also on top of her list of destinations. Here she can combine the knowledge of French and Arabic. Trips to Istanbul and Berlin are in the pipeline, too.

“I am also looking forward to not getting up at a specific time every morning and be on a schedule,“ says the 66 year old pensioner.

Check out the story about Ilselil Halby when she celebrated her 25th anniversary as financial and personnel officer. http://dfcentre.com/224/

Ilselil is replaced by Lene Due Kruse-Nielsen. See June 2016 DFC Newsletter.

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