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Beyond Borders: A Tale of Hope and shadows of compassion - The Journey of a Humanitarian Aid Worker

Today, on World Humanitarian Day, we commemorate the selfless individuals who dedicate their lives to serving others in the face of adversity. But amidst this celebration, a wall stands tall, separating those in need from the help they desperately seek. It is a wall built by the challenges we face, the conflicts that persist, and the ever-evolving world around us.

Lakoyo Shakira

Posted on 16 Aug 2023

In the vast and troubled landscapes of South Sudan, today we shine a spotlight on Aris, the Head of Safety with DRC who has found purpose and a profound sense of existence throughout his humanitarian Journey despite the challenges he faces.

He has spent over 18 years in the humanitarian sector, collaborating with various organizations, and most significantly, with DRC.

Similar to numerous other individuals engaged in humanitarian work, Aris has encountered innumerable challenges and emotionally charged circumstances. However, these experiences have served as a catalyst for a profound realization throughout his journey. 

Given the profound realization of humanitarian duties towards humanity, it is imperative that we demonstrate unwavering support for both the communities we serve and humanitarians, irrespective of their location or circumstances.

The observance of World Humanitarian Day serves as a poignant reminder of the growing demand for selfless humanitarian workers, while regrettably, insufficient measures are taken to protect them from impediments and challenges.

As I reminisce about my last field mission with the DRC Mobile Response Team in Renk, a memory stands out vividly. I encountered three South Sudanese returnees - two courageous women with their family and a determined man - seeking refuge from the Sudan crisis. Their plea for safety and a better future echoed in my mind, igniting a fire within me.

/  Aris, Head of Security South Sudan

As we commemorate this year’s World Humanitarian Day under the theme; “No matter what”, together let us all honor those who dedicate their lives to serving the displaced individuals amidst adversity.

Let’s all not forget the essence of this day - to go beyond celebration and embrace action.

It is a day to remind ourselves that our mission goes beyond mere intentions; it is about making a tangible difference in the lives of those in need. And above all, it is about doing so in the safest way possible.

As the Head of Safety and Access for DRC South Sudan, he firmly believe that our world has reached a critical juncture. With escalating challenges, disasters, diseases, conflicts, and the advent of new technologies like artificial intelligence, the risks faced by humanitarian workers have multiplied.

It is imperative that we adapt our daily safety practices to mitigate these emerging threats. His plan is clear - to equip his colleagues with the knowledge and awareness needed to navigate these changing landscapes while safeguarding the lives we aim to save.”

While the sun sets today on this World Humanitarian Day, let us remember that our purpose as humanitarians is not merely to offer aid, but to do so in a manner that safeguards the lives of those we serve.

By embracing change, adapting our practices, and sharing our wisdom, we can alleviate the sufferings of the communities we strive to assist.

Despite the advancements made, it saddens me to witness the persistence of numerous challenges faced by humanitarians, reminiscent of those I encountered years ago. Throughout our journey, we have tragically lost numerous humanitarian workers while carrying out their duties. The need for transformation is now imperative.

/  Aris, Head of Security South Sudan

Today, I implore you to join me in this transformative journey. Let us unite as a global community, committed to serving others while prioritizing safety. Together, we can overcome the challenges that lie ahead and create a world where humanitarian work thrives, unhindered by unnecessary risks. The time for change is now. Will you walk this path with me?

/  Aris, Head of Security South Sudan

16 Aug 2023
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