World Humanitarian Day

The UN's World Humanitarian Day honours humanitarian efforts worldwide. This year, it is focused on women whose work supports people in crisis and conflict zones, women like SafeLane's Mel, Debbie and Marta, pictured.

Annually, on the 19th of August, the UN’s World Humanitarian Day is celebrated. 

The day’s focus is honouring humanitarian efforts worldwide – and sharing the idea of supporting people in crisis.

This year, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is focusing specifically on women humanitarians whose work supports people in crisis and in conflict zones.

 

How SafeLane is recognising the OCHA’s World Humanitarian Day ambitions

This August, in support of the OCHA’s intentions, SafeLane is honouring its female staff who work in support of humanitarian missions globally.

On projects in nations ranging from Afghanistan to Yemen, Western Sahara to South Sudan, SafeLane provides operational support to humanitarian actors. 

Support services include improvised explosive device disposal (IEDD), battle area clearance (BAC), de-mining, explosive remnants of war (ERW) destruction and combat engineering.  And to promote lasting peace in societies emerging from conflict, SafeLane works in support of its intergovernmental clients delivering training, mentoring and capacity building programmes.

On all projects, SafeLane supports gender equality, and to celebrate its female workforce this August for World Humanitarian Day, it delivered three specific initiatives: 

Firstly, it invited search expert Vikki Williams to come and train all HQ staff in the fundamentals of counter IED operations

Vikki worked for SafeLane on project in Somalia, training and mentoring.  She brought her experiences in the field to life in her training sessions. 

The course enabled all HQ staff to better understand the roles their field colleagues undertake.

The second initiative was inviting currently operational female staff to share their stories via case studies.  The case studies will hopefully encourage other women to join SafeLane in support of its humanitarian clients globally.

And the third initiative SafeLane has undertaken in support of World Humanitarian Day is arranging for three female HQ staff to visit their field colleagues in Somalia.

 

Helping HQ staff enhance the support they offer their field colleagues

Pictured above are Senior Project Executive Mel Villegas, Operations Support Executive Debbie Carr and Management Accountant Marta Adamiec just before they embarked on their trip to Somalia on the 16th of August.

In Somalia, SafeLane is working in support of humanitarian stabilisation efforts – and in the UK, Mel, Debbie and Marta are the team that provides the full logistical and financial support to their Somalia-based field colleagues.

To give the women the chance to see how the work they do in the office in supplying the camps, supporting the staff and funding the project, SafeLane’s senior management decided to arrange the visit to coincide with World Humanitarian Day.

Speaking about the opportunity, Debbie Carr said: 

“Our roles at HQ are life support functions; it’s critical our colleagues have every piece of kit they need to do their job, live in relative comfort, stay safe and even have correctly qualified staff working alongside them.  Therefore, from procurement to financing, from staffing to day to day support, that’s what we provide.  But we’re  isolated by distance, and perhaps some understanding, from what life is like for our colleagues who are supporting critical humanitarian visions in countries like Somalia. 

“So, it means everything to us three that we’ve been given this opportunity to visit those we generally only speak to on Skype – I can’t wait to say thank you to the guys and girls in person, and let them know how much we value what they do.”

Her colleague added:

“At SafeLane we always say ‘it’s not your ordinary job’ – it’s so true – this week we’ve had C-IED training, had a summer thank you party paid for by the bosses, and now this.  Yes, we work hard – but we get such amazing opportunities too.

“The work we do, we love it, we work in support of those who save lives every single day.  I can’t wait to meet some of those I help support and say thank you.”

Pictured below are some of SafeLane’s many female staff, including Sheree Ali, Birgitta Marais and Vikki Williams who all work – or have worked – on project in Somalia. 

Also pictured are office based support personnel Kelly Durnan and Charlotte Turk who look after humanitarian-focused international land and marine projects.

If you’re interested in learning more about how SafeLane’s services can support your project, or you’d like to join the team, contact us today.