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news | August 18, 2016 | Chad | Emergency

"Supporting one’s own": Testimonies of ACTED staff in Chad

ACTED Tchad, 2016

On the occasion of World Humanitarian Day, celebrated on August 19 every year, ACTED shares with you testimonies of field staff from around the world to honor the work of all the women and men who mobilize to support the most vulnerable populations in crisis-affected areas. Read the testimonies of Heppa, Degaulle, and Léon who work at ACTED Chad.

Heppa, Distribution Manager at ACTED Chad, has been working in the humanitarian field for more than four years. This is his story:

“From the beginning, I always dreamed of being like my father who spent most of his career doing humanitarian work. Nonetheless, what really made me make this choice was the crisis my country has been living since February 2008. I myself was a refugee in Kousseri in Cameroon for many days. It was a situation that affected me and shocked me. I lived the struggle of not being home, of sleeping under the moon in the cold and dust, of not having anything to eat or drink, and not having anything clothes or medicine…What motivates me on a daily basis is the smile and the joy on people faces after every livelihood distribution, even if the aid is minimal. This glimmer of hope on people’s faces helps me tell myself subconsciously that little by little these people will be able to rebuild if I continue to be at their service. With that, I wake up every morning with more strength and optimism.”

Degaulle has been working in the humanitarian field for almost 6 years as an Appraisal, Monitoring and Evaluation (AME) officer at ACTED Chad.

“I come from a family to whom agriculture was the principal source of income. I lived the negative effects of poor agricultural outputs, natural catastrophes etc… I know what being hungry means. I know the weakness and desperation that overrun someone who’s hungry. I couldn’t remain indifferent when a community dies of hunger around me. This is what pushed me to work in the humanitarian field.

The rural development engineer that I am, I fill fulfilled when I act in favor of a community affected by a food security crisis. The words of the beneficiaries and traditional chiefs after the reception cash and food distributions by ACTED during the hardest periods, such as the lean season, often leave me speechless. Those are powerful moments that refuel my strength and courage to continue working in the humanitarian field. Analyzing situations in crisis-affected areas motivate me to dedicate all my knowledge and skills to reduce the suffering of persons in destitution and preserve their light to life.”

Léon, the head of the Agriculture, Livestock and Environment teal, has been working at ACTED Chad for four years.

“I was attracted to humanitarian work since I was young because I wanted to help people fight poverty. Even in middle school and high school, I was interested in volunteer work in my hometown, where I worked in aid organizations helping vulnerable persons. In my community, many people live under the line of poverty. Many cannot attain food self-sufficiency due to poor revenue, drought and the lack of agricultural production tools.

I remember two powerful moments that happened during my tenure With ACTED in Batha, in the center of the country. The first was in July 2013, when I took part in the distribution of food to vulnerable persons affected by the food crisis. I woke up early in the morning and made dozens of kilometers on the pick-up car to distribute food to widows, children and elderlies. I went home late for days but was very proud to have been of use to vulnerable persons, especially women and children. The second moment was in May 2015: I was very touched by the testimony of beneficiaries in the villages of Affanine Massalat and Itechanie. They, in front of the entire ACTED team, said that their revenues have increased thanks to ACTED’s agricultural and capacity-building support, of which I am the manager. In addition, the women of these villages performed a folk dance to recognize ACTED and its agricultural technicians.

What motivates me on a daily basis is helping vulnerable persons in the fight against poverty and food insecurity. I am always motivated by a gesture or an act in favor of persons in need.”