International Humanitarian and Adventure Guide.
Una Lappin is an international humanitarian. And a brief look at her journey will tell you why there can’t be a better one.
Una has worked as a Nutritionist and a Consultant across two continents, Asia, and Africa, within a variety of countries including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Iraq and Democratic Republic of Congo where she was responsible for implementing nutrition, health and food security surveys for children under five and their mothers, the delivery of targeted feeding programmes and health promotion with GOAL Global, CONCERN Worldwide, ACTED and United Nations World Food Programme.
She was a Researcher in the University of Prague, Czech Republic, a community nutritionist researcher within the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in England, and locally she has tackled life and health inequalities with Irish Travellers and many communities across Belfast with a focus on mental well-being, food and fuel poverty, homelessness, and health literacy.
She is a Director of JoinHer Network (www.joinher.co.uk), a voluntary member of the Royal College of GP NI Patient Group and a CONCERN Worldwide Ambassador (www.concern.org.uk)
Una is also the Founder and Director of her own business, Unique New Adventure Ltd. (www.uniquenewadventure.com), which she established in April 2020 to ‘Rejoice in Our Differences Through Education’. She has delivered multiple educational workshops, expert talks, global podcasts, videos, interviews, and storytelling from her lived humanitarian experiences.
Lastly, she is so passionate about sharing her knowledge and experiences of working as a Humanitarian that she is currently writing her memoirs from daily journals she kept in the International field and is a #1 International Best-Selling author already.
Did she ever think she would achieve all this? “Both my parents are retired teachers and education was always important when me and my four siblings were growing up. Thus, I have always enjoyed learning and still do which has helped me achieve. I also consider myself to be extremely resilient and strong. I have come through a few challenges both personally and professionally in my life. My way of triumphing these is to tackle them head on with an open mind, put my needs first, have self-belief in myself, and hold the mental attitude of ‘this will pass’,” says Una.
A wife of 10 years and mother of two young boys, Una resides in Belfast, Ireland. As talk veers to family, Una shares, “In 2021 I had the realisation that I have 24 hours in a day, so it is what I do with my time that counts. How I achieve the mix between home/work is I get up early before the rest of my family gets up and then, if required, work after they go to bed. I am blessed with a supportive husband too. I explain what I am doing to my children, as they are part of it, at the same time setting an example.”
With a career spanning more than 20 years and four continents, Una has friends all over the world. She also has extensive experience in community engagement; locally, nationally, and internationally, and interacting in a multicultural multidisciplinary environment.
Ask her what inspires her, and is quick to answer, “Individuals who have overcome adversity and have thrived. I love personal stories of transformation and going against the predicted results as it shows character, courage and conviction.”
With years of experience behind her, Una also shares what women can do to find a firm footing at their workplace. “Speak up more and believe in yourself. We all have value to bring. If your employer is not aware of your ideas, opportunities may not materialise. Another key is to put yourself forward for training or added duties as this helps you enhance your skills, knowledge and connections.”
Una herself practices this. On a typical weekend morning, you can find her in a few possible places. “In a mastermind group learning and developing; on the side of a football pitch, coffee in hand, watching my sons play football and having fun; or, in my office typing up my own memoir ‘My Humanitarian Diaries – Lived Stories from The Field’ for publication next year,” says Una. She equally enjoys writing poetry as well as walking.
As an International Humanitarian, Una aspires to create a more grateful and compassionate world through Storytelling, Workshops, Podcasts and Expert Talks. Wish there were more like her!