CARE’s humanitarian heroes

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Joseph Ngamije, CARE South Sudan (above): “When I was 11 years old, I was forced to become a refugee in my own country, Rwanda. I could see how innocent children and mothers suffered from a conflict they have never started. People died including my own brother. Innocent children were massacred.

“From then on, I developed a spirit of giving justice to those who are helpless, giving a voice to the voiceless, giving protection to the most vulnerable.”

Dorothy Muchaki, South Sudan

Dorothy Akinyi Muchaki, CARE South Sudan (above): “Some of the most memorable moments during my work were when we had to work as a health team, with different aid organisations working together to save the lives of patients during the conflict in South Sudan. I had never seen so many men injured.

“The team of doctors and nurses and clinical officers worked tirelessly. This was an experience that will remain in my memories. My joy is that we saved many lives.”

Mohamed Mahat Nur, CARE Kenya

Mohamed Mahat Nur, CARE Kenya (above): “I was born and brought up in Dadaab (Kenya), a town that hosts refugees who have fled various conflicts in the larger East Africa region. I used to see a lot humanitarian workers from different corners of the world arriving in Dadaab to provide services to refugees.

“So I grew up dreaming to be a social worker to help as many people as possible.”

Rona Jean Casil, CARE Philippines

Rona Jean Casil, CARE Philippines (above): “I know what it is like to survive Typhoon Haiyan and it makes me deeply happy that I am somehow helping the other survivors’ recovery as well, that I could find something positive from this disaster.”

Arnel Roca Murillo, CARE Philippines

Bushra Abdu Aldukhainah, CARE Yemen: “The most rewarding part for me is working with unreachable women and children. I am able to reach out to them, I understand their needs and try my best to support with dignity.

“I help displaced women who are normally unable to share their concerns and challenges, even within their own family, but I am able to hear their thoughts and share their feelings. I know what it means to be a woman in such a culture.”

Warda Hassan Ali, Yemen

Dania Ghanayem, Volunteer with CARE Lebanon: “All the [Syrian refugee] families I talk to are devastated and desperately need assistance. I don't think there is anything more challenging than knowing that you cannot help everyone, but I feel very content when I can give them hope and information that improves their lives.

“My contribution might be small, but I am doing as much as I can. I feel that I can finally do something for my people. They are part of me and I am part of them.”

Ibrahim Boukari, CARE Niger

Jean Louis, CARE Democratic Republic of Congo: “Once I conducted a needs assessment in a new health area. On the road, an armed group stopped us and suddenly, one of the assailants recognised me because I took care of him once when he was in a refugee camp. They left us free passage after he recognised me.

“It was an unexpected encounter that may have saved my life.”

Yousef Al Filali, CARE Jordan, with two children

Yousef Al Filali, CARE Jordan (above right, with two Syrian children at Azraq refugee camp, Jordan): “People here in Azraq refugee camp have lost everything, their home, their houses, their jobs, their belongings. A lot of them have lost loved ones. Their lives are very hard.

“The most challenging part for me is that whatever we do to help refugees, it is not enough.”

Efren Mariano, CARE Philippines

The moment I close a particular project, or my job ‘ends’, it is also the time the people we served start recovering their life back.

And I consider that the biggest success – for the communities, for all of us.