Testimony of Marie Kanla: an IFF Europe alumni !

Marie Kanla now lives in Africa, in Burkina Faso. But sixteen years ago, she was a student of the D.U. (Bac +3) Humanitarian Project Management at IFF Europe. From the nursing profession to that of a cabinetmaker, a look back at her career path.

IFF Europe former student
What led you to IFF Europe?

Marie Kanla : In the early 2000s, I was studying nursing because I liked the human relations and caring aspect of this profession. Unfortunately, after my training, I realized that the idea I had had of the nursing profession was quite different and that I did not want to practice it under these conditions. By meeting young people from Fondacio, I got to know the IFF Europe at the same time. I then decided to enroll in the D.U. Humanitarian Project Management program offered by this school during the year 2004-2005, in order to be able to take a step back. This year allowed me to make changes about myself, to know myself better and above all to know at least where I didn't want to go anymore.

In the end, has the D.U. Humanitarian Project Management been a springboard in your life? 

Yes, it allowed me to reorient myself in the social field but still with the nurse's hat on. In France, it is often difficult to get out of the box, whereas in Burkina Faso (where I live), I was able to put on several professional hats and discover that I had multiple potentials.

What is your best memory at the IFF Europe? 

It's a long time ago...  Anyway I remember that there was  a real fraternity between us, with a lot of benevolence from everyone. I even kept in touch with some of them. I also really liked the life in a household where we were about ten students from different cultures and worlds: a real happiness! During our mission in Burkina Faso, I met my husband with whom I have been sharing my life for fifteen years.

When I made the choice to come and live in Burkina Faso and leave France behind, it was not without fears and anxieties.

What did you do after IFF Europe? 

After IFF Europe, I oriented my career towards social work. I worked with various publics for seven years: reception of foreign unaccompanied minors, children's city, aftercare center for drug addicts, SAMU social. Then I had the desire and the need to take a break and we made the choice (with my husband) to return to Burkina Faso.

Did you find work there?

In fact, with my husband, we set up our own cabinet making business. We value the dry wood on the ground in furniture and decorative objects design (visible on our website www.kaala.africa). In this adventure, I am in charge of administration, accounting, customer relations, marketing... In parallel, this year, I trained online to become a certified coach ICI (Institut de Coaching International). In a few months, I plan to develop my activity to accompany teenagers and adults (in e-coaching or face-to-face) on various issues such as self-confidence, self-esteem, emotional regulation, life transitions, etc.

IFF Europe former student

What advice would you give to IFF Europe students so that they can take flight and become actors in the world to come? 

IFF Europe allows us to start working on self-knowledge, which can lead us to reveal and express all our potential that the world needs. I would tell them to dare and to allow themselves to meet others. When I made the choice to come and live in Burkina Faso and to leave France behind, it was not done without fears, anxieties and anxieties. But I have two sentences that still carry me today and that help me to put one step in front of the other when I have doubts: "The important thing is the path: it doesn't matter if you are wrong, it's the steps you take, it's the experience you draw from each thing that is important. "And the other sentence that helps me: "Just because it's difficult doesn't mean it's not possible". In short, keep believing, go for it and move forward!