Camp Manager, Malakal Protection of Civilians site

Name: Lauren
Location: Malakal, South Sudan

Camp Manager (1)

One of my colleagues, Rachel, is an amazing lady. She was displaced from her home at the beginning of the conflict and lost her husband along the way. Since then she has been working for DRC as a camp management officer and also as the head of the camp women’s committee. Her ability to speak many languages and navigate complex community issues is impressive to everyone that knows her. She is a fierce leader and is widely respected across the PoC – I am constantly learning from her!

 

What does a normal day look like?

No day is the same but most days consists of a combination of a few common elements; Meeting with community leaders and/or humanitarian agencies to discuss and troubleshoot challenges to service provision, monitoring the construction of community infrastructure, conducting site visits to allocate land for humanitarian services, facilitating burials for the deceased, and liaising with the UN Mission (UNMISS) on issues related to community governance and security in the camp.

Currently I am focused on re-developing the contingency plan in the event that ongoing fighting in the area results in an influx of displaced persons into the camp. This has involved extensive liaisons with other humanitarian agencies to develop site plans, clarify roles and responsibilities, and coordination to ensure supply levels are sufficient for a rapid yet comprehensive response.

What is the best thing about your job?

The best thing about my job is getting to work in a beautiful country with amazing people. South Sudan has many flaws but the natural environment is spectacular and it is home to kind, hardworking people who demonstrate resilience rather than despair despite their circumstances.

What is the most challenging part about your job?

While we work hard to ensure the humanitarian services in the camp meet minimum standards, the quality of life remain too low and it is disheartening that this will only improve minimally as long as the ethnic-political context in the country forces them to remain in the camp.

Past and future journey in DRC

I have been working in the camp management sector in South Sudan since 2014 and intend to continue work in camp management responses to conflict induced displacement. As my experience broadens in scale and scope I plan to move into a role where I can affect policy-level change that enhances the quality and effectiveness of humanitarian responses to displacement in conflict.