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Congo: I have a great job

I’m sitting at a dining table on a balcony in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. It’s my office today, there isn’t any room free inside. From here I can see blue mountains rolling behind the silver lake with purple thunderclouds blossoming above a red Save the Children flag fluttering on the white jeep being fixed by the green-clad mechanic on the black volcanic ground. The air smells of charcoal and my face is grimy with ash. But with a view like this who wants walls?

It’s been a good week: I have written and submitted two proposals, and have another one to get stuck into next week. One will be to secure funding for emergency health care for people who have been displaced by the conflict, and for the families in the area where they’ve arrived; one for raising awareness of HIV; and the upcoming one will be for malnutrition.

One of our field managers came to Goma this week. When she left, she took four children who had been demobilised from an armed group with her to be reunited with their families. One of the best things about being here is seeing that happen, you get all soft and fluffy inside.

It reminded me of being in India when a ridiculously pretty girl came bounding up to me in the office to say hello. She was healthy, confident, bursting with life, ribbons in her hair. She’d been trafficked, working in near-slavery. But we’d helped her into safe employment and she was clearly doing well.

I have a great job.

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