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Showing posts from September, 2008

Cheaters and other Criticism

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Not everything goes smoothly with a humanitarian interventions. Being representations of a rich white western aid organisation certainly means that as an expat here there is a dollar sign halo ever present. This causes conflicts over pay for starters, and then other things like demands for blankets for the watchmen, gumboots of the logistics workers, and endless pens for the nurses. Most of the time it is not a problem but quite often conflicts occur. In Wamura I have been trying to use only contract staff (ongoing employemnt) with no daily workers (paid for the day). This enables trust and loyalty to develop with staff, and avoids some of the walking dollar sign feeling being an expat.

One of the other problems associated with being in control of seemingly unlimited resources while dealing with people with very little, is the 'cheaters'. Woman and babies who try, and succeed, in getting around and through the system twice or more times, picking up drugs and food on each round.…

The Big SFC Week

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One part of the mission we have been preparing for, and now running, is the big SFC (supplementary feeding centre) program. Effectively this involves handing out a months worth of family ration to everyone within a certain criteria. One family gets 25kg of famix, five one litre bottles of oil and five very large pieces of soap. We were expecting about 200 people at each of the five locations we already run OTP's and so I had stockpiled literally tons of food and oil in the preceding week.

The big week certainly was an eye opening to behold. The whole team arrived back from each location in quite an exhausted state, having screened hundreds of mothers and children, thousands over the course of the week. Everyone ending up longing for Saturday and the end of the week. Screening involves a MUAC check and then, for some, a weight and height measure as well. Once accepted in the program, but before getting food, there is the paracheck to screen for malaria, a visit to the doctor and the…