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Experiences of Irish Aid's Rapid Response Corps

Brian Grogan, member of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps:

I was deployed by Irish Aid in January 2016 and again in May 2015 for periods of 3 months each to work with UNHCR in Macedonia and Greece as a water, sanitation and hygiene engineer. My work was focused on liaising with site planners, local authorities, government ministries and humanitarian organisations to designate spaces for toilet blocks and water supply points for the vast number of Syrian and other refugees travelling through these countries. I also supervised the construction of these facilities and addressed any problems which arose once they were up and running. [photo below, taken by Brian Grogan]

Brian Grogan

Angus Lambkin, member of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps:

I was deployed by Irish Aid in January 2016 to work with UNICEF in Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a child protection specialist. My work centred on providing rehabilitation services to children affected by conflict and violence and children who were once used as child soldiers. Drama, music and play services were provided to help children rehabilitate and help them to escape the horrors of conflict and have fun. Psychological, educational and medical support were also provided to children. [photo below, taken by Angus Lambkin]

Angus Lambkin

Cathal O’Connor, member of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps:

I was deployed by Irish Aid in March 2016 to work with UNICEF in Lebanon as a water, sanitation and hygiene expert. My work was focused on Tebbeneh, a very poor area of Tripoli, which is home to tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, and involved upgrading waste water infrastructure, providing safe water for drinking, cooking and washing, and organising services for the disposal of solid waste.
[photo below, taken by UNICEF]

Cathal O'Connor

Ruth Ferreras, member of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps:

I was deployed by Irish Aid from January to May 2016 to work with UNICEF as a Child Protection in Emergencies Specialist. My work included supporting the provision of psychosocial programmes and recreational activities in child-friendly spaces to children affected by conflict in Libya as well as supporting community awareness on child protection issues. This entitled working closely with UNICEF partners and other humanitarian actors in Libya. [photo below taken by Sheikh Tahir Azzawi Charity Organization (STACO), a local non-governmental organisation supported by UNICEF, children sitting in Azzawiyah child friendly space run by STACO]

Photo taken by Sheikh Tahir Azzawi Charity Organization (STACO), a local non-governmental organisation supported by UNICEF, children sitting in Azzawiyah child friendly space run by STACO

Peter Cooney, member of Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps:

I was deployed by Irish Aid from September to December 2015 to work with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs as a civil military coordination expert, to establish coordination between the humanitarian community and the military, and especially in north east Nigeria. My role centred on building relationships with the military and with humanitarian organisations, liaison and negotiation, and ensuring information was shared to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and to enhance the security and protection of civilians. [photo below, taken by Peter Cooney, children in IDP camp in Maiduguri, north east Nigeria]

Photo taken by Peter Cooney, children in IDP camp in Maiduguri, north east Nigeria