2014 Humanitarian Hero Safia Bano
DUTY STATION: Pakistan
WHAT DOES HUMANITARIANISM MEAN TO YOU IN ONE WORD?
WHY DID YOU BECOME A HUMANITARIAN WORKER OR VOLUNTEER?
As a humanitarian worker, I believe I can effectively contribute towards the betterment of affected communities.
WHAT'S THE MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR WORK?
One of the most rewarding parts of my work is watching beneficiaries follow Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) recommendations and construct their own recovery shelters after living in difficult conditions, often without a roof over their heads or in unstable bush houses and tents.
It is particularly heartening to watch a woman decorate her own shelter with colours, painting flowers and birds on her walls, or to see a child explain the “One Room Shelter” construction process and its training posters. Furthermore, it is affirming to watch community members who are not direct beneficiaries of a project follow recommended techniques and guidelines to build a safer home for their families, resulting in a great sense of achievement.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MORE CHALLENGING ASPECTS OF YOUR WORK?
It is challenging to ensure true participation of women in the construction of shelters and to enable them to make decisions on room sizes, material selection and procurement, and whether to hire labour or opt for self-construction.
It is often difficult to ensure female participation in technical trainings and direct communication with field teams.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE WORK YOU DO?
- Assist the Programme Manager on overall management of the recovery shelter project’s daily operation, administration/finance activities and staffing.
- Assist the Programme Manager on overall management of the satellite offices’ operations and ensure smooth implementation of One Room Shelter activities in accordance with the project timeline.
- Ensure that all implementing partners are performing tasks in accordance with the One Room Shelter Implementation Manual and One Room Shelter Technical Manual to ensure that marginalized and disadvantaged groups benefit from One Room Shelter programme activities.
- Facilitate monitoring visits by donors and other stakeholders, and provide any relevant information regarding program implementation in the field.
- Capacitate implementing partners on project processes and methodology so that they can perform independently.
- Regularly interact with the community through field visits and meetings with community based organizations.