Background

« Our birth is a lottery »

Caroline Antoine

Testimony

Caroline Antoine - Health Advisor


Caroline Antoine is a Health Advisor at Action contre la Faim. With a Master Degree in public health, specialized in the management of health programmes, and trained in applied epidemiology, she joined the NGO world in 2008. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Chad, she worked for several years in the field and she recalls her particular situation in 2006 on the anniversary of the Muttur massacre.

Ten years ago, in 2006, I was a nurse in the Infectious and Tropical Disease Department at the Bichat Hospital (Paris). It was a gateway to join the humanitarian sector. At that time, the Muttur massacre took place and, although this event was tragic, it did not discourage me to join the humanitarian sector. I believe that I have never made the decision to become an aid worker, rather I always wanted to be one: I did not consider things in a rational way. Intuitively I felt the strong desire to do humanitarian work and it turned out to be the right choice.

Two years later, I left for the Democratic Republic of Congo working for an NGO and I stayed in that country for fourteen months. Then I worked as an Health Advisor for the African area where I worked on a short-term basis in the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Ivory Coast. Working in the field is what highly motivates me to get up. I never feel tired nor bored.

The fact that our birth could be the result of a lottery, that the life of people may quickly become precarious has always puzzled me. I was working in N’Djamena in Chad during the Central African crisis and Action contre la Faim carried out its activities in a refugee camp in the suburbs of the capital city. Many people of Chadian origin lived in the Central African Republic and they were compelled to leave the country hurriedly to return to Chad. Some of them became the beneficiaries of the aid provided while they were previously large traders who sometimes worked as the suppliers of Action contre la Faim in the Central African Republic.

I worked in the Kivu area in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This region was a zone of conflicts where sexual abuses were weapons of war. In 2009, while working for an NGO, I attended a programme for the medical and psycho-social management of victims. The sufferings are very deep-rooted: sexual violence is used to humiliate the family, women are forced to do horrors and then they are rejected both by their husbands and their own families. I worked with groups of Congolese women who decided to oppose such treatment and I was amazed by their courage. I was happy that we could help them organize their association so that they could receive funding.
When I left, around twenty structures had opened to listen and welcome these women who have been victims of violence.

All the stories below:



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« My strongest memories are those relating to the people with whom I have worked »
Eric Besse

For almost a year now, Eric Besse has been working as Country Director in the Central African Republic for Action contre la Faim which he joined early 2013. As an aid worker his strongest memories were those of the people he was in contact with daily. National employees involved in their work despite their own difficulties as it was the case for the seventeen employees of Muttur.

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« Even if it is a tough job, we experience moments of great pride »
Charlotte Schneider

Charlotte Schneider is the Emergency Pool Coordinator. With her team, she intervenes during the most acute times of the crisis to deliver vital and urgent aid to vulnerable populations. She worked in Afghanistan, Haïti, on the Syrian crises and in Cameroon. The Muttur tragedy, one month before she joined Action contre la Faim, reinforced her commitment.

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« Our birth is a lottery »
Caroline Antoine


Caroline Antoine is a Health Advisor at Action contre la Faim. With a Master Degree in public health, specialized in the management of health programmes, and trained in applied epidemiology, she joined the NGO world in 2008. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Chad, she worked for several years in the field and she recalls her particular situation in 2006 on the anniversary of the Muttur massacre.

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« The emergency responses were those that make me feel that I was the most useful to people »
Marie Sardier

Marie Sardier joined Action contre la Faim ten years ago, shortly after the Muttur tragedy. After helping Togolese refugees in Ghana, she worked in Somalia, South Sudan, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali and other countries. She is now a Food Security and Livelihoods Advisor at the Paris headquarters. She recalls her humanitarian experiences which taught her a lot about herself.

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10 years after Muttur's tragedy:
never forget, never give up.

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