Thank you and good bye

SoME Gavobevis 2023

30 May 2024

This is my last blog for Operation 1325. Due to the worsening economic situation, it is time for me to say goodbye after almost a year and a half as director. Going forward, Operation 1325 will be run by an operational board with limited support from an employee for ongoing projects and of course with the support of our much-appreciated volunteers.

Operation 1325 will continue to work in collaboration with our local partners in countries around the world, to promote women’s inclusion and participation in peace processes and conflict prevention.

My time at Operation 1325 has been intense. With a long background in humanitarian aid in conflict areas, this was my first role at an organisation working with development aid and being an active part of the Swedish civil society.

I have therefore done a vast amount of tasks for the first time: the first time I fully managed grant applications and reported back to institutional donors; the first time I used Instagram and X/(Twitter); the first time I attended meetings with politicians in Sweden; the first time I worked exclusively with interns; the first time I laid the groundwork for starting fundraising activities; the first time I carried out a complete renovation of a website; etc etc, the list goes on.

I have had to learn and master all these new things on the go, while Swedish aid is going through its biggest reform in years. I am used to working with large competent teams and with access to resources, resource that were used carefully but yet available when needed. In Operation 1325, the resource situation has changed drastically and the situation I thought I would be working was completely overturned.

Thankfully, I know how to get s**t done and really got to put the skill to the test, for example, by single-handedly managing a move to new premises as part of an ongoing effort to reduce costs. Which succeeded, and we entered 2024 with a reduction of running cost with almost 70%, (ex. staff costs).

Without my previous knowledge and experience of management, networking, organising and planning, finance and technology, it would have been difficult. And without all the support I received from old and new colleagues, it would have been impossible.

I am grateful for everything I have been able to do and everything I have learnt. Most of all, I am grateful for the incredible network of committed and, above all, supportive individuals I have met along the way, from interns who have happily taken on a variety of tasks, to knowledgeable colleagues at other non-profit organisations with whom I have discussed current issues, to civil servants doing their best to navigate a new reality, to students who are passionate about contributing, and to our strong and capable local partners who continue to fight day in and day out for peace, freedom and women’s rights. Individuals who have become more than colleagues, individuals who have become friends.

Thank you for your tireless work and thank you for all you have taught me.

Without all these competent, committed and supportive individuals, Sweden and the world would look very different. I hope that the civic space will remain for them to work, for a strong democracy where everyone is valued equally.

Thank you,

Anette Uddqvist, Director

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