My job gives me the opportunity to meet a vulnerable community and provide assistance to them. It makes me feel proud and fulfilled to be able to help them gain basic, essential services and needs.
Working in the field can be dangerous. Over the years I have learnt how to be safe, and what works and what doesn’t work in the communities we visit. I am able to adapt and ensure I access difficult to reach areas or areas of resistance to conduct the activities I plan. One of the proven techniques I’ve used over time to avoid resistance and be approachable in the field is hiring local resident’s vehicles – this works for blending in and doesn’t raise any attention. It’s good to interact with members of the community; the community trusts their people and thus trust us when they see us with them. When in big towns, we use public vehicles to move between different points within the area. Before visiting the planned areas or villages, I ensure I inform all the relevant authorities including the community elders and local authorities in advance to avoid speculation from both parties. In my job, insecurity is the biggest challenge. The presence of clan conflict and militia groups in some of the areas my colleagues and I visit means there’s a higher chance for attacks or kidnappings; it’s quite common, and we can’t predict any situation, but we try to abide by all security measures to maintain safety. Long distance travel from the main office in Galkayo to towns hundreds of kilometres away is another significant challenge. Driving for long distances on unpredictable roads is both cumbersome and sometimes unsafe where it’s not unusual to go through several checkpoints. Insufficient transportation increases my exposure to risk. My job gives me the opportunity to meet vulnerable communities and provide assistance to them. It makes me feel proud and fulfilled to be able to help them gain basic, essential services and needs. There’s a certain sense of empathy one gains from being able to network with people in my field and build strong relationships. My work has promoted my interpersonal skills, working as a team in very harsh environments. Travelling to various destinations has provided me with great awareness of different environments and I am now able to adapt to working in different and new areas. CTG has a diversity of people working together towards a common goal. Through CTG I have learnt ways to conduct monitoring exercises using different tools and have attended capacity building workshops on different aspects including report writing. CTG promotes gender equality in its work and women like me get an equal opportunity to men in the organisation.
As an international company, CTG has a positive reputation in the communities we work with, thus it’s a privilege to be one of their employees.
My advice to people wishing to work in this field is to be passionate about getting involved in humanitarian aid and witness humanitarian crises at a grassroots level. I strongly believe this mindset is the cornerstone for the success of a field monitor.