Experiences of Irish Aid's Rapid Response Corps
Cathal O’ Connor, member of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps
I was deployed by Irish Aid in August 2017 to work with UNHCR in Kakuma, Kenya as a Senior WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Official. My role was to provide clean water in refugee camps where there was an acute need. This was a massive challenge as the large population was living in a semi-desert area. Through irrigations, pipe works and pump systems we managed to provide a more adequate increase the number of distribution points whereby more of the camp residents were able to access clean water.
Photo © Cathal O'Connor
Angus Lambkin, member of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps
I was deployed by Irish Aid in January 2016 to work with UNICEF in Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a Child Protection specialist. My work centered on providing rehabilitation services to children affected by conflict and violence and children who were once used as child soldiers. Drama, music and play services were provided to help children rehabilitate and help them to escape the horrors of conflict and have fun. Psychological, educational and medical support were also provided to children.
Photo © Angus Lambkin
Bernard Mendy, member of Ireland's Rapid Response Corps
I was deployed by Irish Aid in October 2017 for 5 months to work with UNICEF in Jebel Marra, Sudan. High rates of malnutrition, water and sanitation issues, child mortality and hygiene were big concerns in the area. In coordination with UNICEF, my role was to improve supply chains and integrate crucial nutrition, health and sanitation functions. Our programme in Jebel Marra brought nutrition services closer to hundreds of malnourished children.
Ruth Ferreras, member of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps
I was deployed by Irish Aid from January to May 2016 to work with UNICEF as a Child Protection specialist. I supported the provision of psychosocial programmes and recreational activities in child-friendly spaces to children affected by conflict in Libya as well as services to increase community awareness on child protection issues. This entitled working closely with UNICEF partners and other humanitarian actors in Libya.
Photo © Sheikh Tahir Azzawi Charity Organization (STACO). A local non-governmental organisation supported by UNICEF, children sitting in Azzawiyah child friendly space run by STACO.
Peter Cooney, member of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps
I was deployed by Irish Aid in December 2015 to work with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs as a Civil Military Coordination expert, to establish coordination between the humanitarian community and the military, in north east Nigeria. My role centered on building relationships with the military and with humanitarian organisations, liaison and negotiation, and ensuring information was shared to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and to enhance the security and protection of civilians.
Photo © Peter Cooney. Children in IDP camp in Maiduguri, north east Nigeria.
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