Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A powerful reminder

"This is our job. We can save the lives of thousands of children."

I often play down what my job is when I'm asked by people outside of the humanitarian sector, mostly because I'm not out there on the front line physically saving lives, partly because it's the Australian way. But every so often, I realise how important each person in this line of work is to saving lives. I don't ever want to over-estimate my own significance, but in this position I'm responsible for bringing in more funding. The funding that will allow the engineers to provide water, the doctors to vaccinate children, the teachers to help children continue their education. It's not the sexiest of jobs; I sit at a desk all day, but I can't deny that I'm doing something important.

I was just in a briefing for a very senior manager who has come from HQ. Around the table were people from Pakistan, Romania, Japan, Australia, Spain, Guinea, the US, Kenya and a host of other nationalities. These staff represented all of the sections in the office, from child protection to finance, from health to HR, and everything in between. And every person who works in those departments is working to save the lives of children. In whatever small or large way, we all contribute. This senior manager ended the meeting by reinforcing that this is our job. Together we can save the lives of thousands of children.

And that's a powerful thing to be reminded of.

2 comments:

  1. I just finished reading Greg Mortenson's 'Stones into Schools" yesterday. The abbreviated list of people and groups he thanks at the end of the book goes on for pages. Clearly the public face of an aid organization is just the tip of the iceberg; below the surface are countless people doing important work, people like you.

    Good on ya mate!

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  2. I just finished reading Greg Mortenson's 'Stones into Schools" yesterday. The abbreviated list of people and groups he thanks at the end of the book goes on for pages. Clearly the public face of an aid organization is just the tip of the iceberg; below the surface are countless people doing important work, people like you.

    Good on ya mate!

    G

    ReplyDelete