Together we can do great things

Posted December 31, 2021

On a mission. Photo: Michael Sembenombo/ UNDP Papua new Guinea

“Do your work diligently and serve from your heart. Don’t worry if you are not recognized. You will smile when you are rewarded only from above” - Michael Sembenombo, UNDP Papua New Guinea

His work takes Michael Sembenombo on travels throughout Papua New Guinea, to the farthest reaches of the country. The remote Moi and Kassai communities in the Vanimo Green District in West Sepik is his most vivid destination so far.

“Here you are back in time. No communication, nor exposure to the outside world,” he recalls. “The struggle is real, and the people are resilient. Their survival depends entirely on their natural environment.”

Mr Sembenombo works in monitoring, evaluation, quality assurance and compliance based at the United Nations Development Programme's country office in Port Moresby, with regular missions into the field on foot or by canoe.

“I work closely with project colleagues to ensure all their project management requirements are up to date in meeting the UNDP corporate standards and deadlines. I ensure that the project teams are fully supported based on their needs to deliver effectively in compliance with UNDP’s project standards and principles,” he explains.

He is proud to be a part of the vibrant UNDP culture working towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and addressing development challenges ranging from Governance, Gender, Environment and Conservation, Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction to Renewable Energy.

Mr Sembenombo (left) proud to "serve the people of this great nation”. Photo: UNDP Papua New Guinea    

“When beneficiaries smile and say thank you, it makes me proud of the great teamwork and passion we have to serve the people of this great nation,” he says.

UNDP’s contribution to the development of national policies and legislation, as well as reaching out to the most vulnerable people by working through local community service organisations and nongovernment organisations, also makes him proud.

“It is, in a way, building local capacity to reach the masses out there who are unreachable,” Michael said.

Michael comes from Nuku, in West Sepik Province, and graduated from the University of Papua New Guinea with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Political Science and Social Work.

When he is not working, you find him attending church choir, singing at his local church. One place he would like to visit is Jerusalem, Israel because of its rich history. His favourite quote is by Saint Mother Theresa of Calcutta: “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot. Together we can do great things.”