Lorraine Mangwiro

When you were ten years old, what did you think you would be doing today?

I grew up in Zimbabwe in a very racially tense environment similar to apartheid in South Africa. My father was a political detainee for many years and I was denied access to my father during my childhood. I wanted to be a lawyer so I could defend injustices linked to racial discrimination and other forms of inequality.

What does your job involve?

I am the Regional Representative for the Caribbean Office based in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The office  provides tailored country-based approach support to 13 Caribbean National Societies in the region, playing a vital role in providing and coordinating services to the membership by facilitation of links between National Societies and their respective publics and government.

What advice would you give to an aspiring aid worker?

I believe that saving lives should be the prime motivation for working as a humanitarian worker. I remember working in a refugee camp with more than 100,000 refugees struggling to survive and our work with the National Society totally transformed the lives of these people, giving them hope, dignity and a chance to rebuild their lives. There were times in my career when I was working in situations when I had no visibility to our work with vulnerable people and this was hard. For me , I need to see the results of our work in how it makes changes to people’s lives and I feel reenergized and inspired whenever I visit National Society programmes. I would never change my career even if I had to start all over. It has given me a strong sense of fulfillment, personal growth, satisfaction, and all in all a very rewarding career which I would recommend to those aspiring to work in this field.

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be and why?

It would have to be Barack Obama. He is remarkable and I believe his diverse background makes him understand the challenges of humanity in a way that nobody else does.


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Regional Representative for the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago