2014 Humanitarian Hero Jahangir Khan

DUTY STATION:  Bangladesh
POSITION:  Operations Associate

“To think my small contributions can provide inspiration to the people their moment of need is one of my driving motivations for me to be a humanitarian worker.”

WHY DID YOU BECOME A HUMANITARIAN WORKER OR VOLUNTEER? 

Humanitarian work regardless of being part of any entity or community is the greatest occasion one gets to help out, working directly with the most vulnerable people in society. I consider serving humanity as one of the best jobs. To think my small contributions can provide inspiration to the people their moment of need is one of my driving motivations for me to be a humanitarian worker. 

WHAT'S THE MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR WORK?

The realization that my work can bring back a smile to the migrants/people in need; the smile of a hope, the smile of living, the smile of winning over agony and to keep moving forward, the smile and tears of joy of being reunited with their loved ones, the smile of a new begin from where he ended, the smile of a success, is the most rewarding smile (part) of my work. 

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MORE CHALLENGING ASPECTS OF YOUR WORK?

The effort needed to ensure equal support to everyone in a group irrespective of their religion or race. The security threats, hazardous travel or natural calamities I have to work through in times of emergencies and maintaining strict timelines to ensure support to the maximum number of people in these situations are some of the critical challenges to my work. 

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE WORK YOU DO?

As an operations associate I assist the migrants return and reintegration in society which they left with a dream to support their families though increased earnings which was not possible earlier. These migrants often take huge loans to facilitate their travels in the first place and are forced to come back due to being exploited by agents who promised lucrative jobs. Migrants are also forced to return due to the lack of security in the countries they are based as seen during the Libya crisis. In such cases I facilitate their voluntary return and repatriation; ensuring food, water, healthcare as immediate support, restoration of their livelihood, and provide support for reintegrating them in their home communities. 

WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT YOU’VE EXPERIENCED DURING YOUR WORK? 

While I was coordinating the return of Bangladeshi migrants during the Libya crisis many people, some wearing torn shirts and trousers without shoes stopped to shake hands or give me a hug, whispering “your organization has saved our lives”. Most of these people had spent two or more weeks wearing one dress and were severely stressed with many carrying bullet injuries. I knew that I could not help them get back what they had lost already but I saw an undying courage in their eyes even after such harrowing experience. I heard the same sentence almost a thousand times and every single time I had seen the joy of freedom in their eyes.