“God has a plan for this country. And I believe I am a part of this plan.”
Tania Mendoza recently moved from Bolivia to Liberia to head the microfinance operations of Diaconia MDI.
Tania came to Liberia first time September 2013 to work with the start-up of Diaconia MDI. She travelled alone and was 26 years old.
Before being in Liberia, Tania had never been outside the Bolivian borders, not even experienced the tropical areas of Bolivia. She had never seen the ocean before. She is now back in Liberia and has been appointed CEO of the Alliance Microfinance bank Diaconia MDI.
Our Chairman of Diaconia MDI, Mr. Rune Øygard, has asked this young and adventurous Bolivian some questions to get to know her a little more.
“Something is driving you to come back to Liberia, – what is this?”
“I strongly believe in God’s plan. I often see it later that God has prepared me earlier for exactly what happens now in my life. For instance, – when I went to High School, I wanted to learn English. Not many people did and we had to pay extra for the lessons. I just knew that I had to do that, and I did. Years later, when the opportunity came from Diaconia FRIF in Bolivia for someone to go to Liberia, the one to go had to be familiar with English. Not many were.”
“What was it like coming to Liberia the first time?”
“I had already experienced many things as a credit officer in Diaconia FRIF in Bolivia. Before going, people told me that it will not be easy to work in Liberia. The first three months I was here in Liberia, it was so difficult for me. Alone from South America in a completely different environment from what I knew from Bolivia. The temperature here was a challenge. La Paz, El Alto is around 4000 meters above sea level. It is very dry and cold. Coming here with the high temperature and high humidity was really a challenge for me. But I was convinced that this was something God had planned for me.”
“What went through your head when you were challenged to apply for the vacant position as MD some months ago?”
“For me it was very clear that God was the one that was calling me. Jesus is an example of leadership, love and care. He came from his glory and went to places where the poor, unprivileged people lived and struggled. He is my example. Liberia is one of the places in the world where the need is obvious. My question to myself is how to serve people whilst always being obedient to the Lord. If I can do something with the gifts that the Lord has given me, I am more than willing to serve Him here.”
“You mentioned that Bolivia is very different from Liberia. Which differences do you have in mind?”
Tania turns quiet for a few seconds. “My experience is that working with the cultural differences is a tremendous challenge. The values have been the pillar that has sustained DMDI. Even though we are struggling with the political situation, the macroeconomic challenges in Liberia, we have been able to hold on to the values. If we do not hold up the values as our foundation, we will not make it in Liberia,” she says with commitment and continues
“The thing that motivates me the most is that all of us in AMAS and Mission Alliance have these core values as the foundation for our work. I feel good working here and I receive the support that I need from the governance structure and the Board of directors in Diaconia MDI. I identify myself with these values and objectives. I am very committed to continue building the portfolio and the organization on these values together with the team.”
“We will continue our mission, continue to serve others and continue to do our part for this world to be a better place”
Rune A. Øygard
Chairman of the Board