CARE's Heroes: Abdirahman
Finding CARE's Real-Life Humanitarian Heroes
My name is Abdiraham Abshir Katsame. I am 29 years old. For over two years, I have been a Vector and Pest Control refugee community worker with CARE WASH in Hagadera Refugee Camp.
1. What does it mean to be a humanitarian worker to you?
It gives me so much joy to support my community in preventing diseases by disinfecting public institutions and households. At the moment, I am helping in preventing the spread of COVID-19 through regular comprehensive disinfection exercises at Undugu Primary school quarantine centre and Hagadera food distribution centre in Hagadera Camp within Dadaab Refugee Complex.
2. Why did you decide to start helping your community– why did you choose to do it, how did you get into it?
I decided to support my community because they are vulnerable and I felt my experience in vector and disease control could be useful to my community. A vacancy arose at CARE Kenya and I was selected after an intense interview.
3. What are some of the biggest challenges and obstacles you have to overcome in your work and the current response? i.e. stigmatization, access difficulties, dangers, lack of support etc.
Some ignorant community members abuse/insult us when we go disinfecting their houses and latrines. Others can be condescending towards my job. That notwithstanding, I try not to be distracted and focus on my work.
4. What lessons have you learnt along the way?
I have learnt to be tolerant and patient with community members as I do my work. I have also improved my skill-set and experience in vector and disease control.
5. Has this work or this emergency response changed you in any ways and if so, how?
The Covid-19 pandemic response has changed my working hours and schedule as I have to report the food distribution centre very early in the morning with my colleagues. I also have to fumigate the quarantine centre in Hagadera Refugee Camp each day.
6. How do you balance your home life and work life? What kind of duties do you still have at home after you clock off from a hard day’s work?
After a hard day of work, I try to make it at home in time to help with fetching water and shopping for my family. Moreover, I also find time to help my children with reading and studies.