August 19, 2016 11:42

I Have Always Wanted to Help People

Jackson Nabaala used to be a beneficiary of Welthungerhilfe's project activities. Now he shares his experience as an Expert at Welthungerhilfe's country office in Liberia © Welthungerhilfe

World Humanitarian Day story of Jackson Nabaala, Expert, Welthungerhilfe in Liberia

“It was my dad who told me: make your choice!” says Jackson, a Massai pastoralist’s son, explaining why he chose to work as a humanitarian aid expert. “He was convinced that education was the key to a better life.”

Jackson grew up in a little Kenyan village where 95% of the children do not go to school. “My dad used a reward system to motivate us and make us diligent pupils. He promised us cows for good results. And yes, I wanted cows. I have got 12,” Jackson tells us with a proud smile on his face.

After school he studied and found his first job at a pharmaceutical company for veterinary drugs. But this was not the life he wanted. His vision has always been to work with people and to help. “I come from a village where life is traditional and opportunities are poor. I wanted to support my village people,” he says.

Knowing the problems of pastoralists to get fair prices for their herds, he invented a so called “eBay for cows”, a platform where pastoralists can offer their animals with photographs taken with their mobile phones. When they are in a town with internet access, they upload the pictures and interested buyers can bid for the animals. “Pastoralists need to have access to markets; they must know the real value of their herds.”

Jackson joined Welthungerhilfe Kenya, became Head of Project, and has just accepted a new job at Welthungerhilfe in Liberia. He understands people’s fears and dreams. “We need to feel what people feel to help best.” It is the first time that he works in another country but Kenya. “I miss my family and yes, I miss my herd: 57 cows, 20 goats and 112 sheep,” he says with a proud twinkle in his eyes. “But I want to work here where people suffered a lot from Ebola. There is still so much to do, I can share my experience.”

Jackson knows what he is talking about – he has made his way and people trust him for his open mind and respectful character. And he knows why his personal way was possible: “Thank you Dad!”

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.

Read more about Jackson in German on our member Welthungerhilfe's blog.