Navigating access to reach people affected by armed conflict is a daily struggle. Our neutrality and impartiality is tested in this structured chaos.
Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and staff in Syria.
Nonetheless, I speak on behalf of thousands of aid workers globally when I say that nothing can dissuade us from reaching out to those who are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.
We endure, not despite these brutal actions but because of them. We cross rivers, climb hills, walk through thick jungles, live in difficult and harsh conditions, drive through hundreds of check points, meet every chief, commander or person in charge. This is not an act of heroism, this is only humanity as shaped by our daily interaction with those who would smile to see you coming to their homes, villages, cities; despite their daily suffering.
We do not want a day to remember our open wounds. All we want is for all parties to armed conflict, actors of influence and the guys with the guns to stop seeing us as a target. We must be allowed to do our jobs unharmed. After all, leaving our jobs aside, we are also somebody’s daughter, son, mother, father, sister or brother. We are somebody’s loved one.
In memory of our fallen ICRC colleagues, Kennedy, Lorena, Hanna, Hauwa and Saifura and those still in captivity whom we are eagerly waiting to be released and returned home to their families unharmed.
Dorsa Nazemi-Salman is an Australian aid worker who is currently the head of operations for the International Committee of the Red Cross operations in the former state of Jonglei, South Sudan.