Almost a year after joining the Global Standby Emergencies Team I’ve finally made it to the field (well, almost). Finding the right time to leave my day job in the legal team has been tricky, but just because the opportunity came during Christmas wasn’t going to stop me. So, having brought, wrapped and given all my Christmas presents by 30 November I flew to Nairobi to join the Kenya emergency response.
When I told family and friends that I was being deployed to Kenya most said ‘what’s the emergency?’ Now I’m managing the programme’s information and communications I can tell you: 10 million people in Kenya don’t have a secure food supply and a whopping 3.8 million are receiving food aid. Four years of drought and poor harvests across East Africa have left many in desperate need of food. Where Save the Children works mainly, in North Eastern Kenya, the situation worsens daily due to the influx of Somali refugees to the Dadaab refugee camp, the biggest in the world.
Though I know I’m helping children through my day job, it feels much more real when working late into the night on a contract means hungry people will get food more quickly. Everyone in the office is so friendly and welcoming –even if the conditions are a little cramped due to the dramatic increase in new recruits to help with the response.
So, looking forward to what the next few weeks will bring and hoping to get to the field ‘proper’!