Yesterday, the first thing in the morning, I got a call from the boss asking me to get ready for a trip towards the border for attending an opening ceremony of one Repatriation Center in which our organization is the implementer.
I was totally surprised because since I reached here, that was the first time I was finally taken out of the office to the site. It was thrilling.
We passed through the industrial area, seeing the series of factories on the endless dry-land which is surrounded by rock mountain range. The view was something I have never seen before but unfortunately getting off the car for a photo-shoot was not allowed.
Halfway through the center, the boss told me that I had to speak representing the organization. It was like a lightning struck my head. I thought I was taken just as the mascot since I was a woman. UN organizations always encourage for female employees and being the female in the organization, I was chosen to be taken along. I had never been more nervous. In such short notice where I had less than one hour, I had to compose my brain and decide what to say in front of the people I have never met and in the place which is totally new for me.
It was not a small thing at all and I was not prepared to speak on behalf of the organization in front of the senior representative of UNHCR as well as the other elders. On the top of that, I had an interpreter to translate my English to the local language. That was the first time I had an interpreter and that feeling was very weird. However, I tried to make my speech as concise as I could and by the grace of God, the boss felt happy, which means it turned out well enough.
The other interesting experience was to visit directly the repatriation center where all the returnees would be attended. They would be assisted with cash, health assistance like vaccination and other check up, mine-awareness education, and other assistance.
I had been reading these kinds of approaches from many organizations across the planet, I have written certain proposals, and prepared certain reports, but seeing how it works in up-close and having a hands-on understanding about the procedure has expanded my horizon even wider.
I know I am not the one who initiate this program, but knowing that I am at least one extremely tiny part of this program and realizing that indirectly, I am a minute part of the people helping these returnees to repatriate to their homeland and helping them in sustaining their livelihood and improve their welfare has made me feel good about myself. It feels good to do something back for the community where we live. It may not be a big one from my side, but I do hope that it is a baby-step of other huge things that could be done, especially for the children's welfare.
Thank you for all the people out there who still care about the people of our planet as well as the people who had taken initiative to protect the sustainability of this planet. God bless you!