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Joe Abu Saa (2007)

Joe Abu

Joe Abu

My name is Joseph Saa Abu, a former student of Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Ireland, Currently; I am in South Sudan working with Norwegian Refugee Council as a Country Emergency Logistics Manager. Over the last three years I have worked with a Swiss NGO MEDAIR in various capacities in South Sudan. My work is to coordinate action to remedy suffering caused by long decade of conflict, decline in social services. In December 2013 when fighting broke out in Juba, South Sudan, NRC collaborated with partner organizations to provide assistance to people who were affected by the conflict. My work is immensely rewarding. Seeing faces of the affected community instills a sense of urgency that drives my work and keeps me motivated when times get tough. My work starts with proper planning, coordination and sending emergency items to the field urgently needed. Currently we are distributing Non-Food Items to the worst affected areas cause by the December fighting in South Sudan over 15000 households in areas are most NGOs are not present.
Creativity and level-headedness are important when working in the field. Planning humanitarian relief requires forward thinking, and it is always based on assumption and projection. Sometimes even the most well planned solutions need last minute alterations, so flexibility is immensely important when working as a humanitarian aid worker.  To feel needed as an international civil servant is rewarding; but the intellectual stimulation I have found through my work is truly an unexpected gift. As a Logistician and development practitioner with NRC Office in South Sudan, I have witnessed first-hand the depth of planning needed to build an effective system in the Country Programme.
Dag Hammarskjöld, the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, once said “Men are happiest when they have the strength and courage to rid themselves of their resentments and unhappy memories. This gives them new strength, makes them more productive, makes them better workers, not only for the progress of their country, but for world peace.” His words constantly inspire me. Through them and through the inspiring efforts of the countless dedicated men and women who serve and have served humanitarian aid organizations, I find fulfillment in my working as a humanitarian aid worker with the hope that I can at least have a part in sharing the essence of this concept with individuals in great crisis or need. I know first-hand that once you are able to find inner-peace within yourself – despite the condition of external circumstances – a new strength will emerge, giving you the ability to prosper as an individual.
Coming from my country of origin Sierra Leone that has gone through civil conflict I have experienced first-hand what it means to have an entity such as Norwegian Refugee Council offering a flicker of hope in times of great turmoil. I could see through its actions that the Organization cared deeply about refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDPs) simply by treating them with dignity. The impact I felt from this experience made me realize that I was in a unique position to give something back. Today, I feel it is my calling to work with humanitarian aid organizations because of my deep gratitude as well as a deeper understanding of how organizations marshal assistance on behalf of people in need. It is an incredible opportunity to serve in a position of direct responsibility and to provide support to senior managers and the beneficiaries in the field. I want to thank God and Kimmage Development Studies Centre as an institution that has impacted with so much knowledge that it has been able to pass on to others.


Permanent link to this article: http://kimmagedsc.ie/graduate/decade4/joe-abu-saa-2009/