International Women’s Day
08 March 2017
This International Women’s Day, we want to take a moment to celebrate the resilient and courageous women we work with every day.
Sometimes the best man for the job...isn't a man! Masons Pratila and Pranila are working hard on the reconstruction of a house in Bijulikot, Nepal.
Pranila told us: "After the earthquakes struck, we took part in several trainings on earthquake- resistant housing techniques. Now we want to teach people in other places how to build safer houses!"
This is Jeehan. She’s not your normal 9-5 working mother. Originally from Lebanon, Jeehan is an architect and works as a shelter manager for Medair in a refugee settlement in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. After a busy day working to improve the living conditions of Syrian refugees, the mother of three goes to pick up her daughter from kindergarten.
“It’s hectic when working hours are over. I put my housewife hat on and look at the million and one things I need to get done, from picking my daughter up from kindergarten to the many household chores. But seeing the smiles on the refugees’ faces I meet every day and hearing my children laugh makes my busy day worth it.”
This is Fifina. Every week, Fifina – one of the Medair’s relief workers – goes from village to village to talk to people about good hygiene practices and how to prevent water-borne illnesses. On a typical day, she’ll take a long boat ride on the windy rivers of Madagascar’s northeastern coast before hiking several miles to get to her next destination. If she’s fortunate, she can cross often rickety bridges, otherwise she has no choice but to get her feet wet. In spite of the physical endurance, she really enjoys her work, particularly making home visits. Fifina has always been a very outgoing person and welcomes any opportunity to be in contact with people. Her work with Medair gives her the possibility to do just that and also make a difference in people’s lives.
Meet Alicia! She’s a nurse and all-round amazing woman from Australia who manages Medair’s emergency health team in South Sudan. Walking for hours in the scorching sun through a crowded, massive refugee camp to reach the most vulnerable; crossing swamps on foot to meet those in need; setting up an emergency clinic and helping her team vaccinate around 30,000 people against cholera in less than two days…that’s Alicia! Her love and compassion for the people of South Sudan is truly inspiring and the hope and optimism that she spreads while working in difficult circumstances is a real encouragement to those around her.
“It was a difficult journey,” says Kahindo, remembering the 117 kilometres that she and her husband walked in search of safety after an armed group attacked their village. She was pregnant at the time, and they stopped walking only once they found a safe place to raise their child. She gave birth to a healthy baby boy in a Medair-supported health clinic near the displacement camp where they now live. “I want people to know that war takes everything,” Kahindo says, “but we are courageous enough to stay here.”