2014 Humanitarian Hero Shaista Bibi
DUTY STATION: Pakistan
POSITION: Liaison Officer
“The shelter cluster has provided me a platform from which to seek solutions and help the most vulnerable segments of the population after a disaster.”
WHAT DOES HUMANITARIANISM MEAN TO YOU IN ONE WORD?
WHY DID YOU BECOME A HUMANITARIAN WORKER OR VOLUNTEER?
I wish to serve humanity and bring change to those individuals who are not aware of their skills and power. I wish to see every human being as happy, healthy and prosperous.
WHAT'S THE MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR WORK?
After the floods in 2010 and 2012, I reached neglected villages where the communities were living without proper shelter and were looking for help. Living conditions were substandard with very little to eat and poor hygienic conditions. I reported the situation to IOM shelter cluster in Sindh and coordinated efforts with partner agencies.
Working with the shelter cluster team has been a rewarding opportunity for me to help communities and assist their needs in times of disaster.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MORE CHALLENGING ASPECTS OF YOUR WORK?
Working in the field with different partners sometimes is quite challenging, especially when affected areas have a duplication of efforts. During the floods, some partners selected areas for assistance without coordinating with district authorities or relevant clusters, leaving the worst-hit areas neglected.
Coordination with authorities is challenging, and advocacy for standards and swift response on the ground can also be difficult.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE WORK YOU DO?
I represented IOM and the National Shelter/NFI Cluster in discussions with humanitarian partners, donors and local authorities. I also attend cluster, Humanitarian Regional Team, Return Task Force and other coordination meetings as appropriate.
Furthermore, I worked to ensure appropriate coordination with all humanitarian partners, as well as with local authorities.