Burundi, Rwanda and Congo
There is really nothing to compare between having an office job in the Geneva headquarters of UNHCR and finding oneself in the field! If some of the Geneva colleagues were reluctant to go to the field, those of us who were ready to take on new responsibilities in hitherto unknown places never had cause for anything but satisfaction and even found a sense of real fulfilment. Opportunities to share, in a sense, in the discomfort of being in a totally different environment (but unlike the refugees, we field delegates really had nothing to complain about), to strive to find acceptable solutions, to make friends with people from different cultures, were there to be seized. On my postings to the Great Lakes area of Africa, and the very much shorter periods spent in Ethiopia and Mozambique, I felt it a privilege to be sent off to these places and to learn about some of the realities facing people there.
The Missionary Aviation Fellowship was to take these blind refugee children to a special school in Nairobi. The Rwandan children had spent the night at my place.
Refugees from Rwanda crowding round our little "regional office".
Children running out of school in the land settlement we were financing, and a small boy fetching water.
Outlining the plans of the Red Cross 8-day training seminar, Rwanda, 1986
The Rwandan Red Cross Secretary General launches the two-day field exercise. The crowd is of people who had fled Uganda a few weeks earlier.
One of our projects was to supply some of the refugees from Burundi with fishing equipment
Refugees from Burundi building their future homes, near Lake Tanganyika