GirlGI | Girl Gone International Issue 6 - Page 30

Tell us about your book... I wanted to write a book about humanitarian work for some time, but I realized that there were so many stories, all different to mine, each rich and provocative. A friend suggested the anthology idea: Why not collect a number of powerful stories from people in different places to create a bigger picture and to give a platform to people doing humanitarian aid work? earthquake in your hometown, your house is destroyed, your children are missing, and someone turned up ‘wanting to help,’ but with no skills to do so? I would tell them to turn around and get me an emergency responder or someone from search and rescue. A willingness to go and live in rough conditions is admirable, but think about whether you have anything to offer. Do you know anything about You are living in Pakistan now. sanitation, nutrition, health care, education, or What is life like there for a GGI? project management? What do you know about the culture and country? How much of the lanThere is so much to love about Pakistan. It has a guage do you speak? Most people would not rich history, vibrant culture, incredible hospital- apply for an accountancy job without a backity, delicious food, gorgeous topography, friendly ground in accountancy. Aid is no different. people, great shopping . . . I could go on and on. Of course, some things need to change and imHow can someone interested in prove in Pakistan, but that is the same in every helping others, but who is not country. quite willing to take the plunge to My least favourite part is the insecurity – not toward me specifically, as I have never felt insecure go abroad to volunteer, assist when here – but for the people of Pakistan. Everyday, there is a humanitarian crisis? ordinary people – policemen, traders, mums and kids trying to go to school – are dying in the I would encourage people who want to help bomb attacks and the militant attacks. when a disaster strikes to investigate the organizations that are first responders and find out who they can support and give to. When disasDo you have any advice for women who might be interested in ters strike, everyone has adverts on websites, in magazines, in newspapers and on TV asking for going into international humani- money. What do you really know about that organization? Before the next disaster hits is the tarian work? time to do a little bit of investigation. Pick ones I would suggest thinking about what affected that work in areas that interest you. Find out countries and people need. A lot of people think how much of the money donated goes to the of aid work as a ‘year off jolly’ that they will do project and how much to overhead. Then, you because it seems interesting and ‘they have alcan feel better knowing that your donation is ways wanted to travel.’ But, put the shoe on the going to an organization that is going to make a other foot. Could you imagine if there was an difference.