Volunteer - Désiré

Published: 18 December 2014 21:59 CET

My name is Désiré, I am in charge of disaster management and coordination of the relief Red Cross committee of Beguma.

I also work for the national emergency response teams. During peacetime, we do a lot of prevention work. During conflict, we focus on the response.

The problems on the ground are many. Sometimes, we have to convince people and show them the benefits of our work so that they can grant us access. Some accept us and some are saying that we are only helping one side. But at the end of the discussions we usually can go through.

When I was still at school I learned first aid. Later I followed a training with the Red Cross. To be a volunteer, it means being committed. No one can force you to do it, you are there to help people. It is a life choice. It’s not your dad or your mom who are asking you to do it.

I love my job.

What is difficult is that sometimes on the ground I do not have the equipment I need to do my job well. We have the human resources but we lack equipment such as vehicles, tools. These materials could allow us to be more effective on the ground

What I see in my country is the worst nightmare of my life. We must work to rebuild our country for the future of our children et also respect human dignity.

One morning, a public place was attacked with grenades. There were many victims, including pregnant women and young children. When we were alerted, we went to help. Some people would not let us pass. They shot at us and we then stopped. They threatened us, stripped of everything, phones, money. That day marked me.