It is World Humanitarian Day (19 August 2019), that one day in the year when we reflect on our engagement in the global humanitarian response. As this year focuses on honouring the Women Humanitarians, we take time to appreciate those in our own organisation who have made the work we do worthwhile. Without the committed women that we serve with, more than half of our efforts to respond to humanitarian crises in different places of the world would not be possible. Not only do they bring in the critical aspect of cultural relevance and appropriateness, but they also bring critical skills that have impacted communities.
We are unable to mention each one of them by name in this release, but these few that are mentioned are intended to represent the 100+ women across our program countries. The sacrifices made amidst the challenging environments for these women are just amazing!
Staff management is one of the key areas in ensuring successful humanitarian interventions, and we are glad that Ms Khadmallah keeps the morale among our staff in one of the most challenging operations in South Sudan.
Community Sensitisation/Mobilisation in our operations need to be culturally appropriate, and our Women Humanitarians are in the fore front in working with female populations. Here, it is a session on sensitizing women in Diffa on the importance of maintaining water quality from the tap to the cup.
Very thankful and honoured to have women like Salma (top picture) and Latifa (bottom picture) who are making a big difference in the humanitarian response in Yemen.
Ms Violet Avako is one of our officers in Uganda’s Rhino Camp where our response focuses on the South Sudanese refugee situation. She is appreciated among the women as they feel comfortable to relate and share their challenges amidst the very challenging conditions of being a refugee.
In some of the places we operate, our teams ride many miles as they work with communities. Ms Emily Ayaa is engaged in Uganda’s Kyangwali Refugee Settlement where we are responding to the DRC refugee situation. She rides her motorcycle through the “bushes” where she engages with new refugees working on settling on their allocated land.
These are but just a few examples of the amazing Women Humanitarians we have in our organisation, and on this day we express how truly grateful and honoured we are that this wonderful family of committed workers strives to alleviate suffering and promote human dignity with so much love!
Happy World Humanitarian Day!
/Milward Mwamvani – Humanitarian Coordinator
For refugees and IDPs in Diffa, Niger, availability of sustainable clean water is key to survival. With support from the European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) we can construct sustainable infrastructure.
The project titel is “Improved access to safe drinking water for displaced and host populations in the Diffa region, Niger” Project period August 2017 – December 2019. Funded by ECHO.
/Milward Mwamvani, Humanitarian Coordinator
ANGOLO EAST VILLAGE – Ailang District – UGANDA
Walking long distances to fetch water takes time and effort. The heavy responsibility usually falls upon women and girls which means that girls don’t have time to go to school. Walking long distances is also a safety issue because of the risk of assault.
Therefore, we are always striving to ensure shortest distance possible, for people to walk to the nearest waterpoint. Our goal is that a person should have to walk maximum 500 meters to fetch water. By doing this we create safety and also reduce exclusion!
To pour a glass of water is something that many of us take for granted, we just go to the tap and fill it up. For many girls and women in Kenya an everyday thing like having access to water can be associated with extreme danger. This used to be true for Joyce Kennedy, 19, from Kenya.
This is Joyce Kenedy, 19 years old, from Tharaka, Nithi County, Kenya. Ten years ago almost nothing could grew in this area, and people were completely dependent on the rainy season. Lack of rain resulted in crops destroyed which lead to famine. To fetch water for her family Joyce used to walk several kilometers every day, which often meant dangerous walks in the evenings where she risked being vulnerable to sexual violence.
– Often when I went to fetch water men shouted after me and called me names. It made me scared and I didn’t feel safe. Constantly being exposed to this was very stressful, says Joyce.
A few years ago IAS built a water irrigation system in Tharaka where water is taken from a nearby river and distributed to 130 local farmers so that they can grow vegetables and fruits. The purpose of this was so the farmers would become self-sufficient and not dependent on rainy seasons. For Joyce and her family, it means that they receive water directly to their house from a water pipe.
– Now when we get water directly into the garden we are able to grow food to sell at the market. I also no longer need to be exposed to the risks that came with these walks, says Joyce.
IAS in Kenya
IAS has been working in Kenya since 1994 and currently has five projects in the country. The focus is implementing education, water, hygiene and sanitation, peace-prevention measures and relief aid in different parts of the country. This project was funded by the Swedish Mission Council l, Erikshjälpen, Linas Matkasse and Mockfjärds Fönster.
Text and photo: Rebecka Woods
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