August 16, 2016 11:54

Working as a Humanitarian Is My Chance to Give Back

Mewan, ACTED Summer School Supervisor. Photo: ACTED.

World Humanitarian Day story by Mewan, Summer School Supervisor, ACTED in Iraq

Mewan works with ACTED in Syrian and IDP refugee camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) as Summer School Supervisor. As part of a joint programme implemented with People in Need with the support of Welthungerhilfe, ACTED is rehabilitating 70 schools in the KRI to provide educational and recreational activities for children during the summer months. This is Mewan's story.

I have fled several times in my life, and I have been a refugee myself. I was born a refugee. The Syrian crisis started when I was in university and that was my chance to give something back to the world and the people who helped me when I was in need. I started my own volunteering group called Volunteering Matters.

After that, I got a chance to work with ACTED, which is a great opportunity. Working in voucher and food distribution, I have met people in desperate need. Seeing them get so excited to receive vouchers and food makes me feel that I am contributing to making the world a better place even though it is by doing something seemingly so basic.

Another satisfying memory I have is of a girl who rushed her mother to register her for a summer school so much that her mother didn’t have time to do anything else. When she sat next to us, she was giggling while her mother was telling us the story. Knowing that she was so excited about the programme put a smile on my face.

But working in the humanitarian world has its challenges as well, the biggest for me being the ability to control my emotions. In the beginning, I used to come home crying. Sometimes I couldn’t sleep. Sometimes what you do is a big step in the right direction, but it is still not sufficient for that person to have a better life again. You can pull someone out of a war or a crisis but the question is whether they will ever forget what they have been through. Even though you are helping, some scars won’t heal. Sometimes that makes me feel hopeless.

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This story is part of Alliance2015 World Humanitarian Day campaign, featuring stories of humanitarians working with our members. For more information about the campaign and other stories, please click here.