ACTED in the occupied Palestinian Territory (oPT) remains committed to support the most vulnerable populations, whether rural communities deprived of access to basic services, Gazan civilians trying to resume a normal life, or young graduates struggling to enter the job market. Building on the strong network of partners it has established since its first project in the oPT in 2007, ACTED strives to empower its beneficiaries throughout all its activities, giving them the means to tackle their challenges by themselves despite a stalled political context and a 50-year-old crisis.
ACTED staff in the occupied Palestinian Territory shared their experiences and thoughts about their daily commitment on the occasion of World Humanitarian Day.
“In oPT we face a recurrent emergency situation, in combination with huge needs and insufficient funds. Those are some of the main challenges facing the humanitarian workers, alongside with restrictions, lack of building supplies, of fuel and severe electricity shortages. The huge need and the number of beneficiaries, which are increasing, are the main reasons that keep me motivated to face all these challenges every day.
I believe that we as humanitarian workers play an important role in elevating the situation of many Gazan families, who deserve proper living conditions and a stable situation and source of income. I work to increase the resilience of poor farmers and their families, and to enhance their situation to cope with any future emergency situation, like when we brought water back to farmers in Gaza during our last project. This is my biggest achievement, and keeps pushing me to work in this sector. I hope that with ACTED I can keep supporting those in need until they reach a complete level of self-reliance.”
“As a humanitarian, you don’t have the means to help and save all people, and leaving people without support is the biggest challenge I face. I always try to remember that doing what you can and helping a group of vulnerable people is better than doing nothing. The series of conflicts and the dire situation of basic services in oPT are the core motivation for me to work as a humanitarian and help people towards a better life. I started with ACTED in early 2016. At that time, the office in Gaza was still a small one – one single room, where I used to be the only staff. Now we are a stronger team of six with five projects implemented so far. Helping the mission in Gaza grow and increasing the number of beneficiaries is the biggest achievement for the entire oPT team, as well as for myself. ACTED provides a very motivating environment that supports you to reach your best achievements, and I am very proud to work here.”
“Our achievement is the way we help vulnerable people and give them the support that they need to go on with their life. Psychologically, humanitarian work needs someone who is fully aware and capable of dealing with incidents that you face, because it’s humanitarian, you’re dealing with human situations. You go back to your home with all these stories, which is to me very positive because at the end of the day I feel that I am standing with people, who have the right to live, to housing and to work. That is what motivates me, what makes me come to work every morning enthusiastic and wanting to do more, because the more I feel that I’m giving something to people, the more I feel that I am achieving what I honestly wanted to do as a humanitarian in the first place.”
“My biggest achievement is the relationship I’ve built with the communities and the people I help. Many of the people we meet are Bedouin families. They have different habits and traditions. I decided to be in this field to try and give something back to the people. If some response comes to them they feel that at least someone is looking out for them.”
“I recently joined ACTED because I wanted to contribute to the humanitarian response to the complex needs in the oPT with an organisation whose operations are rooted in the humanitarian principles. I think that is fundamental to the alleviation of suffering in oPT. The only way to bring about change is to be involved in the work towards improving society. To opt out of this would be to give up.”
“I’ve been working as a finance officer for five years now. I wanted to work with ACTED because I believe in the projects we implement. It is not always easy to keep the same level of response within the limited budget we have, but I am motivated to make it happen by the beneficiaries, whom I meet on a regular basis. The first beneficiary I ever handed a check, in the framework of one of our cash projects, was very thankful, and told me that the work we do will make the world better. That is one of the most memorable moments I’ve experienced in my work.”