Constantine’s Story, Tanzania

Photo by Tom W. Monbeo/UNHCR/2014.

Photo by Tom W. Monbeo/UNHCR/2014.

I was the first driver recruited by UNHCR to help respond to the Rwandan genocide in 1994 in Karagwe, northwestern Tanzania, near the borders with Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi. I have worked for UNHCR for 20 years in different regions of my home country, Tanzania.

The Rwanda genocide drove my passion to work for refugees, I was deeply affected byseeing tens of thousands of dead bodies, including women and children floating in the Kagera River, and tens of thousands more wounded and stranded in the bushes with no care.During the 1997 forced returns I also saw women, children and the elderly walk for nearly 400 kilometers by foot to their places of return, from Tanzania to Rwanda. Those two incidents serve as a constant reminder of the difficulty of humanitarian work.

The most rewarding thing about my job as a driver for UNHCR is that it facilitates humanitarian staff to provide support to refugees in need of assistance. At the end of the day when staff find help and solutions for people in difficult situations, I feel satisfied.

Constantine Martin

Senior Driver

UNHCR Field Office, Kasulu, northwestern Tanzania.

1 family torn apart by war is too many

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