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A day in a camp with internally displaced people with disabilities
For World Humanitarian Day 2013 the UN and its humanitarian partners are launching a campaign called The world needs more… At CBM, we believe that the world definitely needs more inclusion.
There are currently armed conflicts in many places, including in North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This country is already recovering from a war which has led to the loss of millions of lives in the past decades, but many eastern areas are still affected.
In such situations, there are often barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from accessing the humanitarian relief provided by aid agencies. CBM promotes a disability-inclusive approach to humanitarian response and is supporting persons with disabilities who have been displaced as a result of the recent escalating conflict. CBM works with HEAL Africa, its partner in the region. It is one year since the violence led to the displacement of 800,000 people in North Kivu alone, while heavy fighting was reported 15km north of Goma as recently as July.
It is important to know more about the professionals behind this valuable work. For them, improving the lives of the most vulnerable people is not just an assignment, but a necessary mission. Dave McComiskey, President of CBM International says: “Service to others in the most difficult places has been at the core of CBM’s mandate since its earliest days more than a hundred years ago. The threat of war, the danger of infectious diseases and the isolation is the daily life of our staff.” In a letter addressed to the CBM humanitarian workers, he acknowledges their powerful dedication and strong professionalism: “This devotion to providing quality service and the associated challenges are still the reality for many of you today. On behalf of the entire CBM Family, I would like to simply say ‘Thank You’ for all that you do to serve others who are in such great need. Thank you for your dedication and professionalism – it is truly outstanding.”
To mark this day, CBM is paying a tribute to its colleagues working in the conflict zone by publishing an interview with one of its humanitarian workers: Gilbert Ogeto.
He has been working for the CBM emergency response in DR Congo. His mission: bringing assistance to improve the living conditions of more than 3,000 internally displaced people in one of the camps in the region of North Kivu.