Winnie Machaki: Is a humble, robust and a vivacious humanitarian worker who gives it all. Her infectious cheer can disarm any stoic personality. Over the years she has proved to be an asset to IOM Kenya, placing the organization in good stead.
Why this is your most rewarding experience:
I do not consider myself a hero. I am a people's servant. The heroes are actually the affected populations we work with, who have to endure so much suffering, trauma and vulnerability yet when we visit them they still can afford a smile. A unique role I played was during the shelter construction project in Moyale aimed at returning the IDPs back to their land and home. We found families living in dilapidated makeshift shelters. The families were in hopeless state since the makeshift were leaking, the children had no schools to attend and they had no basic items like utensils and farming tools. We had the materials delivered, distributed and 100 shelters constructed in two weeks!! The joy it brought to the beneficiaries lives was so fulfilling as they moved to their new homes. I knew I played a crucial part in transforming someone’s life.
Proudest/ Inspiring Moment:
During the peace dialogues in different locations of Moyale, people came out to give their views of what happened during the violence. Some had lost their loved ones such as husbands, wives, children, brothers or entire families. Instead of harbouring hate and vengeance, they instead forgave and reconciled with their tormentors. It was such a humbling experience and realized there is no such thing such a big affliction that can’t be forgiven.
My Lowest Moment:
Due to the heavy rains the roads become impassable and in the process, one of our trucks carrying Non Food Items for distribution got stuck in the mud. It took us a whole day for us to move again. During response in emergencies, losing a day can cost a life.
How did the conflict affect your personally: During the crisis, I witnessed elderly women undertaking heavy manual work. All their spouses who could assist them were killed in the violence.
The timelines given to execute the work was quite tight and meeting the deadlines proved to be a daunting task. Our work is strenuous, challenging yet when we accomplish and see the end results we are fulfilled.