That’s what I told my big boss when asked what it is that I really want to be. What it really means, i’m not really sure. When do we call a person an aid worker? Is it when he works in humanitarian sector? Is it when he actually delivers aid? Is it applicable even to those dealing with the admin side of procuring relief items? Can we call those working in development sector an aid worker? Does it also include those who may have never been in the field but have a great understanding of donor requirements? What is an aid worker, really? And, do I really want to be one?*
*an ongoing conversation with colleagues since a year ago..
Day 10 of the earthquake, i’m phasing out from the response work in the office. Back to daily routine with a bit of involvement here and there to the response. One thing that stands out is that a lot of our team have now move to Kathmandu to start the work and operations shifted to the team in Nepal as of today. Which means the office is a lot more quiet than the last 9 days. As food was catered for lunch and dinner at 30 pax, there’s a lot of food wasted as well. Jerry and I went down to the first and second floors, even the next building to WWF to see if anyone wanted to join the dinner.
Anyway, he and I were talking about what we have learnt throughout the response. One word, fascinating. Came to a conclusion that we’re quite good at coordinating things in a very big and complex organisation as Save. I can only imagine what it looked like back then before our unified presence, must be a nightmare for government to deal with us haha. And also that it’s a very capable organisation. And to reiterate the obvious, ambitious. At $85m appeal funding target, and able to get 30% of it in the first 10 days, how can I not say that.
This is the big pond that I’m swimming. Whether i’ll continue swimming there or not, can’t say yet. But I quite like the idea of dreaming big. Wait, let me correct that, I like the idea of being ambitious. The next step for me is to learn how to deliver the ambition. I think that’s going to be my learning goal in the organisation.
#Singapore, 4 May 2015, waiting for bus at Tanglin CC
So many interesting thing and learning happened in the last week. I’m sure it will be useful for me sometimes in the near future (at least for work). In short: being part of the Nepal earthquake response WITH the regional level as the lead in our office -at least for the first week – is really one of the biggest learning experience for me in my 1.5 years in the office. Did I mention that I’m working for Save the Children? *I’m sure i’ll regret mentioning this on my personal blog
*Singapore 1 May 2015 9:28pm – Day 7 of Nepal earthquake