Tuesday, May 28, 2024

LT Woman of the week

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UNHCR’s Pamela Michelo encourages mothers to vaccinate their children during her home visits at Kenani transit centre Photo by UNHCR/Bruce Mulenga

Nchelenge UNHCR field office in Northern Zambia is newly opened to manage DR Congolese refugee influx, currently hosted at Kenani transit centre and Mantapala refugee settlement. With 21 staff, UNHCR ensures that 15,000 refugees are provided with timely international protection and life- saving assistance.

Pamela Michelo is a community-based protection associate and one of the three female staff in Nchelenge office.
She begins her morning with a meeting with her supervisor to share plans of the day. In the evening they meet again to share information about her accomplishments of the day. Because the staff in her department are limited, Pamela works alone and sometimes her supervisor accompanies her to either Mantapala or Kenani. She juggles a lot of tasks and priorities including training partners, monitoring community activities and sometimes assisting refugees especially children with special needs.
“The exciting part of my work is figuring out how I can get the work done. My first task in the morning is to meet partners who help me deliver assistance to refugees”, says Pamela

A refugee arrives at Mantapala refugee settlement in Zambia’s Nchelenge district – Photo by Bruce Mulenga

As UNHCR’s community-based protection worker, Pamela ensures that Partner organisations are readily available to encourage families with children receive vaccinations, renew family cards and distribute basic necessities like soap and cooking utensils. She also visits community groups and checks on individuals who have special needs. She answers calls from community leaders on incidents requiring immediate interventions like SGBV. She works closely with partner organizations and Government to resolve many issues that come up in the community.

“I also meet people individually and always making myself accessible to speak to refugees on matters concerning their safety and well-being. My work makes me even more enthusiastic to work for UNHCR”, says Pamela.

Pamela explains that every day she realizes the importance of the work of UNHCR and how it makes a difference in the lives of people. Despite long days, she constantly receives support and advice from the team leader and colleagues at UNHCR.
“I am passionate about the work and I realize there is so much to done,” says Pamela

Refugees have continued to arrive at Kenani transit centre to get a place where they can call home and rebuild their lives. Their needs are great and increasing every day in Zambia. The UNHCR is providing protection and humanitarian assistance and together with Government seek durable solutions for refugees.

By Bruce Mulenga

Editors Note: Send as a story of  an “ordinary” Zambian woman who is making a big difference in peoples lives. Let us celebrate our unsung heroes.

4 COMMENTS

    • Zodwa must feature next week then. She was so humiliated at KKIA, what a shame!! Was she performing? No, she was just an ordinary visitor who could have been allowed into the country, but told not to perform her usual stuff

  1. Zodwa must feature next week then. She was so humiliated at KKIA, what a shame!! Was she performing? No, she was just an ordinary visitor who could have been allowed into the country, but told not to perform her usual stuff.

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