Jaana Napa, Estonia
I came for the first time to Georgia with my classmates in 1988. At that time it was very popular for Estonians to spend their holidays here. Our two countries have very close ties, and have done so for decades.
Later on, I spent almost a month in an ethnic Estonian village called Salme, in Abkhazia. When the Georgian-Estonian movie “Tangerines” was released in 2013, (it was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards) it awoke my memories and contributed to my decision to apply for the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia. I arrived in the Mission in October 2014 as a monitor at the Field Office Mtskheta.
My first professional international experience was in 1997 at the UN Civilian Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although initially deployed for only six months, I have now spent 18 years in different international missions (UN, OSCE, EU). Most of my mission work has been in security sector reform and training.
My colleagues at EUMM are from different national, cultural and professional backgrounds, which makes the Mission more diversified. Achieving results requires teamwork. While working in the Field Office Mtskheta as Team Leader of the Human Security and Administrative Boundary Line Teams, I recognised how the team environment fosters friendships, which last beyond the mission.
During the last year, I have been working as a Capacity Enhancement Coordinator at the EUMM Headquarters. Together with my Georgian colleague Lela, we are coordinating internal and external training courses and organising Induction training. Many Mission members come with vast mission experience, while for others it is their first international mission. Regardless of their background, all Mission members participate in the induction course, which is designed to familiarise them with the work of the EUMM. As the facilitator of the course I enjoy when the participants share their experiences and thoughts as it creates a sense of belonging and contributes to the creation of a positive learning environment. We are a team and we all have something to learn from each other.