2014 Humanitarian Hero Maria Koko Mathiang

DUTY STATION:  South Sudan
POSITION:  Volunteer

"I need to support my community, and I’m willing to do so even though I’m not paid. When I came to Leer as a displaced person, I immediately wanted to give a hand." 

STORY

Maria works as an unpaid volunteer for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Leer County, Unity State in South Sudan. She used to work for the United Nations Development Programme in Bentiu—the capital of Unity State. But Maria’s life changed when she became displaced. 

“I need to support my community, and I’m willing to do so even though I’m not paid,” she said. “When I came to Leer as a displaced person, I immediately wanted to give a hand. I will try to do the best I can to help.” 

In Leer, Maria helps IOM to distribute non-food items to people in need. With UNDP, she trained people to improve their farming methods in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture. 

“The most rewarding part of my work is working with people in need on a daily basis, and being able to make a difference.”