18 Jun

Staff Q&A with Evan Schellenberg

What is your title at IMA?
I am the Construction Coordinator in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

How long have you been working for IMA?
I started in March 2014.

Where do you live?
I live in Kinshasa, DRC. I am originally from Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada. As a missionary kid, I also spent four years in Burkina Faso, West Africa.

Why did you decide to do construction for IMA?
I decided to take the position of Construction Coordinator with IMA because the project really spoke to me. I was already doing construction in DRC, but the project is an amazing opportunity to be a part of ensuring a better standard of living in the country.

What is your favorite part about working at IMA?
I love construction and teaching; as Construction Coordinator, I have the opportunity to combine those passions. I get to build health centers that make a significant difference and even save lives. I also have the opportunity to teach construction methods that will hopefully have a long lasting effect on the population and the country as a whole.

If you have a day off, what are you most likely doing?
Fifty percent of my time, I travel throughout the project area for installation and supervision of our construction sites. While on the road, there is no such thing as a day off, but in the evening, you are likely to find me researching new construction products and methods or planning out the next steps in construction. When I am back home in Kinshasa, I make sure that my days off are spent with my family (wife of 13-plus years and two amazing kids!). On those days, we try to spend as much of our time as possible doing activities together outside.

Is there anything else about you or your work that you’d like to share?
I have been in the construction industry for over a decade. I have had amazing opportunities in that time to work on some pretty spectacular projects. Among them all, the ASSP Project definitely speaks to my heart. My grandparents were missionaries in the DRC for over 30 years! My mother was born and raised here. My grandfather, among other things, translated the Bible into the Chokwe language. My grandmother was a nurse and oversaw several hospitals and health centers as well as running leprosariums and orphanages. It is a huge honor for me to be able to walk in the footsteps of my ancestors and beyond my wildest dreams that I am able to help bring access to health care in some of the very places that my grandparents worked!