One Small Thing Can Make a Big Difference


By Leonard Doyle

Brilliantly encapsulating what it is to be a humanitarian aid worker, Matt Bowlby of IOM Haiti describes his daily rounds of a displacement camp thus: "You’re here to do one small thing that’s going to make a big difference."

In that short and pithy phrase, delivered as he bantered in creole with residents still displaced by the earthquake of three years ago, he summed up what keeps so many humanitarian aid workers returning to work in the often dangerous conditions of emergencies. In the film Matt and Magdala Michelle Jean-Pierre talk about the rewards and challenges of humanitarian work in Haiti.

19 August was World Humanitarian Day a month long initiative that invites you to sponsor a word and turn your voice to help millions of people worldwide affected by disasters. IOM and United Nations ask supporters to complete the sentence: The world needs more…

Future Beyond Migration


By Kensuke Matsueda

“What are your feelings about youth migration?” My colleague and I asked this quick question randomly to some Nepalese people who joined the celebration event for the International Youth Day 2013, which was held under the theme of ‘Youth Migration and Development’ in Kathmandu, Nepal in August. For this stab, I prepared the flip cards with twenty key words such as ‘empowerment’ ‘change’ and ‘choice,’ which could probably reflect one’s idea and feeling about youth migration.

A night helping trafficked Filipinas back from Syria


By: Romina D. Sta. Clara

It’s the first time I joined the field operations of IOM-Philippines on assisted voluntary return.  In this case, the Government of the Philippines through its embassy in Syria has requested IOM to assist with the voluntary return of about 60 Filipinos. For IOM, this means providing assistance in transportation (from Syria airport until they reach the Philippine airport) and ensuring that the returnees are properly endorsed to government authorities upon arrival at the Philippine airport. For this kind of work, routine coordination is made with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Bureau of Immigration (BoI), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA),  Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT).

Twitter Speeds Up Real-Time Disaster Response


By Charmaine Caparas

If you still don't believe in Twitter, then this new finding could change your mind: Twitter can save lives! According to a recent report conducted by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, social network Twitter has played a key role in some of the most destructive natural disasters in the world including the Japan earthquake in 2011 and the monsoon rains in the Philippines in 2012.

Beauty or the Beast


By Kensuke Matsueda

7.00 am. It was a lovely sunny day in the monsoon season. The sun was slowly rising in the blue sky above the old city of Kathmandu in Nepal. The orangish old Newari temples were modestly glittering. Some people were quickly commuting to school and work in town, while others were busily buying vegetables and fruits for breakfast in the local market. In such a perfectly usual morning scene, a woman standing next to me whispered one word, “Scary...”