A conversation with a colleague today left me feeling the need to do a shout-out…
To single mothers who are also aid workers.
Yes, I know that everyone here sacrifices in one way or another, and in some way lays it on the line to do what we all do…
But I have to recognize the single moms.
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My single-mom colleague manages what those who work for my employer call the “kevlar portfolio”: Lebanon, Gaza, West Bank, and Afghanistan.
Strictly speaking, she’s not on the emergency response side of our International Programs department. She’s on the “development” side. But really… are there really any development programs in Gaza or the West Bank? When beneficiaries live daily with the very real threat of rocket attacks, stray UZI rounds, or tanks randomly driving through their fields, I tend to think of that as an “emergency context”, rather than a “development context.” I do understand why it’s important to some to refer to work in Afghanistan as “development.” But seriously, go there. Go through the process of visiting the field in Herat or Jalalabad or Badghis: it’s the world’s most invisible slow-onset (or not so slow) emergency.
When I wrote about hearing the bomb blast, my single-mom colleague, coincidentally traveling with me on that trip, actually saw it. She was just across the street when the bicycle bomb detonated.
And she’s about to deploy again. To Afghanistan.
* * *
Single-mom-aid-workers… you know who you are. You have my respect.
And Christine – travel well. Stay safe. Cheers…