“Making the most of the situation”

Jacqueline Dürre flies to Iraq every two months. She helps people in crisis situations for Care, the international relief agency.

My memories of an assignment to a crisis region like northern Iraq are not necessarily influenced at all by the many tragic impressions of human suffering. I remember a scene in Camp Bersive I near the northern Iraqi city of Zakho. Care supplies the 15,000 people who currently live there: we 
look after water, food, hygiene, sanitary facilities, tents, blankets, heaters and clothing. Once I observed a little girl swinging between two tents. Her mother had rigged up the makeshift play equipment. Her life is hard: the family has little to eat; the toilet 
is 100 metres away. But it is much more important that the girl can play. Again and again I meet people who are very creative in situations like this. Often their position is desperate. Never­theless, they preserve their humanity and take responsibility 
for one another. Through my work I can help people in crisis 
situations. That’s what fascinates me about my job. I am in charge of Care’s emergency relief effort in northern Iraq and fly there every two months. I then work in our office in Dohuk and focus on managing the project, which includes not only administrative duties like dealing with invoices, for example, but also distributing food. Many experiences have made a deep impression on me that I will never forget. But I also see that our help 
is getting through and changing something in people’s lives. That’s a good feeling.” ▪