Friday, August 19, 2016

The Front Lines

Nairobae (Picture stolen from Mutua Matheka's twitter taken by him)
Every day, humanitarian aid workers stand on the front lines of war and disaster, braving tremendous dangers and difficulties to deliver assistance to those who need it most. World Humanitarian Day (WHD), which takes place every year on 19 August, recognizes the aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and mobilizes people to advocate for humanitarian action. The day was designated by the General Assembly years ago to coincide with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq-Proffessor Google(Seriously though the UN home-page)

Today is world humanitarian day and it’s a day that was set aside to commemorate the 22 UN employees who were killed in Baghdad in 2003, to recognize humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes.This year's theme is One Humanity and there are many activities one could do to mark the day and one that is suggested is to write about what inspires you, I will not exactly do it(at-least not today) but I will tell this story of how I stumbled upon the humanitarian world..............................what I like the most about it outside the alleviate suffering and saving human(and livestock) lives, is that you can wear anything you want as there is no dress-code, the adventure it comes with in-terms of new places and new people you meet and friends you make.

How the humanitarian world is organised is that there are front-line people and the people who have desk jobs.The front-lines more commonly known as the field is very relative as there people who work out of Nairobi(yes the city in the sun that looks as seen on the picture above)  and it is the field to them, because when you imagine the field you think far away places with no electricity and running water  right? but yes the big city is also the field to some guys. I am a (drums roll) field person who I would like to think has seen/experienced her fair share of the field.

Which class will have the most students assuming students didn't have compulsory classes,I am thinking the Math class (hides face)
Before I got to do what I am doing now, I was a teacher in a boys school,that at the time had only male teachers and they treated me like some royalty, my own office, my own thermos of tea,chapatis........................all this is important because I was new and only the heads of subjects(I think,I am not too sure what their titles were) had their own offices.It was a teaching match made in heaven but I left and sometimes I think how different my life would be if I didn't leave.

The joint’s admission’s board sometimes calls people to do courses they really are not into and this was my case, I spent a lot of time in my first semester trying to change courses but I wasn't able to and therefore did four years to be a teacher which is a taught skill that nobody actually respects, because how many schools do you see calling back their star students to be untrained teachers before they go off to college, many right?. What they don’t know(or seem to have forgotten) is that teaching is an art(or a science for those science subject teachers), you don’t believe me it is a skill,I will show you; Say you were to start teaching a new topic for example communication(form 2 business studies :-) :-)) such an excellent topic for the crazy form twos, teaching dictates that you start from the known to the unknown, so you would ask the students 'If today you needed money to go for a trip and you didn’t have it what would you do?' and I am assuming they will say call home( phones as means of communication), two if you are those cheeky teachers now bring in the example of, 'If you saw a girl in school X during the tournament/or some school event and you want to tell her how you are only seeing her face in your books, what would you do?', write her a letter (letters as a means of communication) and on and on before getting into means of communication that are new to the students,you don't go there and start talking about big things the students have never heard of before trying to show off and all :-) :-).

The teaching skill :-)

My mum and smallest brother(who is in high school), do not believe me every-time I tell me that people are taught how to be teachers when they take courses in education, so one day I tell them this story about what you are supposed to do when you enter a class; first you greet the class,assuming the blackboard is clean you write the date,the subject you are teaching and face the class and start talking to them, do an introduction, start from known to unknown (remember?), after which you write the topic for the day, never talk to the students while facing the blackboard and walk around the class to ensure all those back benchers are actively listening. My brother goes like Kumbe!!! Nishajua siri zenyu.

But I hanged my teaching boots after 6 months of being a teacher and I became an aid worker. Not 
because I knew what it was or was passionate, I just got lucky and now there is nothing in the world I would rather do.I cleared campus and I did not know what NGOs were and I really wanted to work in a bank because all the successful people I knew then were bankers, I was not alone as most of the people I cleared campus with went into banking so much for all those units on pedagogy.

My grandmother (God rest her soul and grant her Jannah) lived in Elwak, I taught in Rhamu the greatest school of all those sides-Sheikh Ali high school :-) :-), schools closed for April holiday and I went to visit, at about this time there was an agency in Elwak that had an advertisement for a position for a field monitor, I freaking did not know what a field monitor is, what they do, but I badly wanted to stop being a teacher so I applied,and when I got the call for the interview I went out and bought these really pretty shoes because they would see my shoes and think we have to take her,have you seen her shoes,she will kill it on this job and I got the job :-D :-D.Some of the happiest days of my life were the two years I had that job, no pressure, no responsibilities, just go to village X and make sure they know who the agency is, their rights as beneficiaries, identify beneficiaries and your work pretty much ends there. Get this we didn’t have computers and work ended when you stepped outside the gate and on most days we would just stalk people on FB on the shared office desktop.

Here I am, years later and cannot thank God enough for the bullet I dodged by him not answering my prayers of getting a job in banking,why you ask? have you met me??? I am awkward around strangers,don't talk much to them and shout while talking on the phone and bankers as I have come to learn sell financial products and have targets and to hit these targets it's mostly dependent on how much you can fake laugh at the right times in a conversation with a potential customer and how many times you can walk upto a stranger and win their trust..................................................., difficult things to do if you ask me,but I know a lot of guys doing so well as bankers so it cannot be as hard as I make it seem.

To all humanitarian workers out there do something special this day like say a prayer for the world. I would say happy World Humanitarian Day but it's a day that commemorates grim things so it wouldn't be proper.

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