Part of my role was to map and get a deeper understanding of migration movements in Libya. I did this by listening and interacting with migrants daily.
I took a teaching job at an elementary school which enabled me to work closely with children, understand their needs and assist them daily. This motivated me to be closer to my community and give more. Often the community is overlooked and misunderstood due to many reasons including lack of communication, which is a key element in bringing people together. With the constant state of conflict and instability, I noticed more and more people in my community were becoming marginalised and overlooked. This is what sparked my interest to learn more about the humanitarian and development sector.
What Sparked My Passion For The Humanitarian Sector
I started off my humanitarian career working on a project for Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). in July 2020. Part of my role was to map and get a deeper understanding of migration movements in Libya. I did this by listening and interacting with migrants daily. An as Enumerator working with qualitative data, I always make sure I don’t stop there. I always make sure to follow all the published reports and information sheets closely and self-analyse how the overall data has been structured in its final form. This shapes policies and recommendations to strengthen the humanitarian sector but most important, how we as field officers can strategically build an approach to enhance the living conditions of migrants.
The first time I joined the humanitarian sector in the DTM team, I was one of two women within a predominantly male project.
More Females, More Participation
The first time I joined the humanitarian sector in the DTM team, I was one of two women within a predominantly male project. When I look at the dynamics of the team, it is important to keep a gender-balanced environment. Especially when it comes to conducting surveys or doing interviews. We found that female migrants are reluctant to open up or provide sensitive information to male field officers despite the gender-sensitive measures we take. It became more apparent that the more female field officers there were, the more female migrants were comfortable opening up and providing more information which allows us to improve the quality of the information needed to provide adequate assistance. I am proud to say that we are seeing more women participating in the team and there is more focus on the substance of gender balance.
A Story I Will Never Forget
I have experienced many tough situations and heard countless heartbreaking stories from migrants but there was one that I can’t forget. A female migrant who participated in a project that dealt with recounting the difficulties migrants face before arriving in Libya, told me a story that was truly shocking and terrifying. Without going into too much detail and reliving her story, she was layered with psychological trauma that she could never overcome until that very moment. During my conversation with her, I reassured her that her life matters and one day she will have the life she deserves. When I saw her emotional response and gratitude for my advice it was a moment that was deeply touching for me. She decided to return to her country and contacted me afterwards to complete the voluntary return process and shortly after she was back home safely.
What It Takes
The most suitable person for this kind of role is someone who is professional yet patient and is able to communicate with migrants. You need to be able to deal with unexpected situations and build a good foundation of trust between you and the migrants you’re working with. I always try to perform my daily duties with honesty and integrity while remaining humble and grounded no matter what.