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Haydn's career in MSF Logistics

Haydn graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 2007, having worked on farms throughout his studies. He had developed a love for travel after restoring an old truck and driving from London to Kinshasa with his friends, which eventually led him back to Africa as a project coordinator with MSF.

Haydn's career journey

Production manager on a farm in Kent

Haydn's first job as a graduate was as a production manager on a farm in Kent, where he managed 70 staff and maintained all the equipment, building strong management and mechanical skills.

Volunteer country manager with NoPC, Tanzania, May-July 2010

Haydn worked with schools to identify problems with their computer systems, presenting NoPC as an IT solution to the gap in trained teachers in Tanzania in the ‘Tanzania Beyond Tomorrow Project’ at the World Economic Forum.

Having developed a taste for international work, Haydn found a placement in Tunisia as an assistant project manager on a farm – something that helped him to build on his education and experience back home in farming and maintaining mechanical apparatus, but also to develop his management skills and learn how to work in a foreign context.

Assistant project manager for Japco/Azur, Tunisia, Oct 2010-April 2011

Haydn was responsible for farming operations on a 40-hectare project growing salad crops, where he was in charge of maintaining pumps, generators, boreholes, tractors and electrical systems, as well as managing a 40-person team.

Haydn came home in 2011 and, with strong skills in technical logistics and management in an overseas context already, he decided to apply to work as a technical logistician with MSF. He went on his first mission with MSF to South Sudan.

Logistical administrator for MSF, South Sudan, July 2011 - May 2012

In his first role Haydn learned about the internal workings of MSF, managing HR, finance, supply, and also doing some work as a technical logistician. Haydn maintained all the cars, electrics, and water systems in a ‘regular mission’ project in a remote area of South Sudan.

Following this, Haydn did a short stint as a supply logistician in a nearby project in South Sudan, and then came home to run a campaign in the UK about MSF’s work in the field.

Logistician and driver for MSF UK, Sept 2012

Haydn set up exhibitions at universities in Scotland and Ireland for the ‘Cholera on Campus Campaign’, talking to students to raise awareness and encourage future volunteers.

He finished the campaign, and decided to return to the field, where he worked for two years in a range of different logistics roles in construction and as an all-round logistician.  

Logistical team leader, Myanmar, Nov 2011- June 2013

In this role, Haydn was responsible for all logistical activities in a fast growing emergency response. He managed both boat and car fleets, installed ICT networks and set up new offices and accommodation as well as managing supply, finance, HR and setting up new waste systems. For the first time, he also acted as the project coordinator whilst the project coordinator was away, manging the entire project.

‘There was this massive amount of violence in October that year, between the Rohingya and Rakhine people. There was a Rohingya area in the middle of the city which was completely closed off, no one could get in or out,’ said Haydn of his time there.

After three more logistics roles in Syria, Ethiopia and South Sudan managing construction and water and sanitation in conflict zones, Haydn was ready to apply as a project coordinator. He applied to MSF for the role, was accepted and sent on a course to learn about how to manage an MSF project and security.

He then went on his first mission back to Bentiu in South Sudan, the frontline of fighting in the country.

Project coordinator for MSF, South Sudan, Sep 2014 - Feb 2015

Haydn was responsible for coordinating a large team at the time that South Sudan was descending back into civil war. As well as learning to manage security, he had to work with department heads and collaborate with other organisations to ensure that the humanitarian community responded to the growing needs quickly and effectively.

Haydn did well in his role and, after a short emergency mission in Syria as a project coordinator and more work as a logistician in South Sudan, he was recruited to the MSF ‘E-Team’, a group of experienced and highly skilled MSF field workers who are ready to deploy to emergencies as they arise, moving from one emergency to the other over the course of a year.

‘Instead of having these short contracts which are three months here, six months there and then you go home, I have a year’s permanent contract. I’ve put my soul in a box and given it to my boss. I love it,’ says Haydn.

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