Jallah’s Story, Tanzania
Jallah Faciann is the Registration Officer, UNHCR Field Office Kasulu in Tanzania. He’s leading the 8-month long comprehensive verification of the Nyarugusu Camp population in Northwestern Tanzania of nearly 70,000 residents. He reflects on how he came to start working as a humanitarian worker:
“During the civil war in my country (Liberia), I lived as a refugee in Gueckedou, Guinea in the early 1990s. I had no access to registration by UNHCR, practically because I had no money to pay the agent from the partner agency responsible for our registration. I pleaded, but without success. I became so angry and even desperate that I wanted to do the job the agent was doing.
Four year later when I moved back to Monrovia, Liberia, I still carried with me that singular wish to work with UNHCR’s registration team. In 2004, I was hired by the UNHCR Monrovia office to support the voluntary repatriation exercise of Sierra Leonean refugees.
I was particularly fascinated by the work in Protection. Back then, registration was not clearly defined, but interwoven in the daily responsibility of Senior Field colleagues, supported by data clerks like me.
When I was given the offer to go to Damascus, Syria in 2009, I gladly accepted. I worked there for 13 months, before being redeployed to Accra, Ghana.
In my ten years of service as a humanitarian worker, I’ve found no more excitement and fulfillment than serving as a volunteer registration officer in two duty stations, and rendering support to four other operations. But most remarkably, relocating hundreds of anxious looking refugees from the Ghana-Cote d’Ivoire frontier and sheltering them in matter of days still seems like yesterday. The relief on their faces, and their sudden change of mode, were incredible.”