To celebrate World Humanitarian Day on August 19th, ACTED talked to three humanitarian workers in Libya, who are helping to make ACTED programmes a reality on the ground. Here is what they had to say about how they came to work in this sector and what keeps them motivated to continue against the backdrop of Libya’s ongoing conflict.
Everyday provides new learning experiences, contribution and collaboration opportunities as well as lively interactions with beneficiaries; the true meaning of our work.
“My entry into work within the humanitarian field came early, as I volunteered in Girl Scouts and then later on with the Libyan Red Cross, participating in humanitarian activities like fundraising to support the vulnerable. As a result of my direct contact with these groups and individuals, I felt for the first time the pleasure that comes with giving and sharing. I found that giving is the strongest language to connect with people. When the conflict in Libya began to escalate in 2011, my focus shifted towards supporting and cooperating with various initiatives such as Handicap International, UNICEF and Save The Children. Today, with ACTED, I am part of the AME team, learning how projects are developed and more importantly how to monitor them and report on improving their impact. Everyday provides new learning experiences, contribution and collaboration opportunities as well as lively interactions with beneficiaries; the true meaning of our work.
Occasionally, because of the conflict, it is natural to work under excessive pressure. However, I always overcome this by asking myself questions I believe to be essential; ‘why am I here?’ and ‘what is the true reason behind my decision to work?’ And the answers to these question are the real motivation for every progression and step I make in this humanitarian field. These answers are also a confirmation to myself that I have chosen the right career path; one which motivates me to give all my effort and time to improve my performance. The least I can do is remain in a place, like ACTED, which allows me to make a difference in uplifting misery and working for the benefit of mankind and humanity.”
Meeting with IDP families has reinforced my philosophy that taking care of the most vulnerable leads to development, peace and economic growth.
“An economist by training, I have worked on the humanitarian side of the Libyan conflict since its beginning in 2011. Starting with the ICRC reuniting families operations, I then worked with other international organisations promoting reconciliation. Today with ACTED carrying out humanitarian projects on behalf of international donors, I find myself as team leader of the AME team, supporting monitoring and evaluation processes and implementing impact assessment activities. These projects include unconditional cash distribution to displaced families helping them deal with the financial hardships of displacement in periods of hyperinflation. Meeting with displaced families has reinforced my philosophy that taking care of the most vulnerable leads to development of peace and economic growth.”
This work gives me the chance to help in improving the health system in my country.
“After returning from USA in 2012, where I was studying health services management, I began working at the university immediately afterwards, conducting research on Libya’s health services sector which was facing numerous setbacks. These include lack of financing and supplies as well as the departure of expat medical professionals. Through my work, I became aware of ACTED’s humanitarian work and sought to work with the organisation. In February 2017, I became the health project officer and now I am working to achieve ACTED’s development goals in Libya, which includes helping the Libyan health authorities to provide better services and training the medical staffs on advanced medical technologies. This work gives me the chance to help in improving the health system in my country.”
— the field