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Becoming an aid worker

To be frank, I wasn’t solely interested in aid work because I had the heart of Mother Teresa. I had some compassion in me but it was mostly adolescent thrill and the quest for adventure and excitement.  It’s only later that I understood and grasped the gravity of taking on the profession.

Thankfully, my childhood dreams, crazy as they were, weren’t that crazy after all. Such dreams could actually come true. People actually wake up in the morning to do aid emergency work. Sometimes they don’t even sleep, they just work as long as they can, especially when an emergency has just occurred.

After doing a lot of desk work and a some field work in war-torn northern Uganda, I was really overjoyed when I got the opportunity to start living my dreams through Save the Children’s Child Protection Trainee Scheme. When the program manager in London told me over phone that my West Africa placement was being changed to Kenya, the excitement died out.

“Kenya? There’s nothing going on in Kenya besides tourism and the post election violence which had since cooled down,” I thought. “Moreover, it‘s only next door to my country Uganda and I’ve been there many times. I want to go some place different,” I remember telling her.

She told me that that Save the Children was running a very important program in Dadaab, North East Kenya. It was work in a Refugee camp, with about 90% of the Refugees being from Somalia. She also added that hat the team there was great.

I slept over it and by the next day, I was looking forward to going to a place where there was apparently a humanitarian situation. Why had I not heard it on the radio or seen it on TV? Why had Dadaab not been mentioned in our newspapers?

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