August 19, 2018 15:52

World Humanitarian Day 2018: The story of Martin, a guide for the community

Photo: CESVI

From refugee to humanitarian operator: the story of Martin for the World Humanitarian Day

On the occasion of the World Humanitarian Day, which occurs on 19 August, Alliance2015 shares the beautiful story of Oyet Martin, a South Sudanese refugee in Uganda and now Cesvi operator in the country.

Martin is 30 years old, is married and is the father of three children. His story begins in South Sudan, the youngest country in the world: it is the land that, even if by another name, has seen him born, grow and form a family. A country that, with the new outbreak of the civil war in 2016, has returned to be inhospitable for him and many of his compatriots.

He tells that one day, returning to his village after an absence due to work in the fields, he found it almost completely deserted: reached by the violence of the conflict, the inhabitants were forced to flee elsewhere. He is escorted by soldiers to Ngomoromo, a town in northern Uganda, where he discovers that his wife and children have fled to Kenya.

Despite the pain of separation from the family, Martin does not lose heart and learns about the possibility of working in the refugee camp of Palabek, where he lives. They talk to him about Cesvi, which works in the structure to enhance the livelihoods of the inhabitants and to promote the coexistence of the refugee and host communities. After an interview, he is hired with the task of “community mobilizer”.

Martin’s job is to support work in the community, monitor progress and facilitate the participation of people in meetings and training courses. He’s also the one who encourages the inhabitants to use good practices to reduce the environmental impact of the refugee camp: for them he is a real guide and a point of reference. To fulfil this role, Martin has participated in courses in agronomy, environmental sustainability and methods of peaceful conflict resolution.

“In this job I put all my efforts and my passion: it’s nice for me to see the impact we can have on people’s lives, learning at the same time to adopt new points of view” – he says satisfied – “I’m proud to be part of Cesvi: this experience has changed my life. I hope with all my heart to continue learning and, once I return to South Sudan, to put this knowledge into practice for the good of my country”.