Watch Joyce Asha Francis, an OCHA National Field Officer in Malakal, talk about being a woman humanitarian and the challenge that it brings.

Forty-six year old Joyce Asha Francis is an OCHA National Field Officer in Malakal, South Sudan’s Upper Nile Region. She was born in Uganda and lives in Kenya, but her roots are in South Sudan. She has been a humanitarian for practically all of her working life. She is a mother of five children.

OCHA asked her about what being a woman humanitarian meant to her, the good parts and the challenges. She answered:

“Being a humanitarian to me means love, compassion, kindness, generosity, being cooperative, patient, caring, helpful, humble and being culturally sensitive, in order to save lives, relieve suffering and maintain the human dignity of the affected people. Without the above listed qualities, one can hardly endure to be a humanitarian worker.

“The most favourite part of my work is around general coordination and providing leadership to ensure that basic services reach the people in need. It is fulfilling to see us humanitarian workers running around to get work done and the people talk of how the services that are there now have changed their lives.

“The most challenging parts of my work are resource mobilization and access. In an event that resources are limited and are not able to reach the affected people, I feel terrible because a life could be lost due to the inability to provide basic services, or the inability to reach people due to poor communication networks or human-imposed barricades. This hurts a lot.”

Watch this video to learn more about Joyce’s experiences coordinating humanitarian action in one of the most challenging places in the world.