Willy’s Story, Central African Republic


Photo by UNHCR/2014.

Before joining the humanitarian sector, I used to work as a magistrate for the Central African state. I decided to change this path, since I really wanted to put my judicial knowledge to the service of the wider population. I wished to provide assistance in a different way, which would bring me closer to the people and their daily activities.

Now at UNHCR, I mainly receive refugees, hear their problems and try to provide them with answers. Refugees might not always have a clear idea about the protection provided to them by law. For example, when a refugee goes to the hospital, he should be treated in the same way as a country national. Lastly, I examine the conformity of local legal documents with international law.

The most rewarding part of my work is when I am able to relieve a little bit of the misery of humanity. Once, for example, a woman came to see me in tears. We talked for a very long time and she left without asking for anything. I had helped her just by being there and listening. She had come to ask for many things, but she left calmer, just because there was someone she could talk to. There are many vulnerable people like this woman. Among the refugees, there are many women who live alone with their children, facing enormous difficulties. Sometimes, we cannot give them anything concrete and other times they are convinced that there isn’t any solution to their problems. But we are there for them when they need us.


Willy Solio

Protection Associate

UNHCR Bangui, Central African Republic




1 family torn apart by war is too many

Learn more about our work with refugees at UNHCR.org