Stories

Staying connected during a COVID-19 lockdown

Giving back, the hope in the people’s eyes, and hearing the positive feedback from the people we serve is the reason why I wake up every morning and come to work.

I enjoy the human interaction, the way people talk to me and trust me with their problems, the way they open up and speak out their sorrows, misfortunes, joys and dreams.

I have been working with Medair for a year and a half now, and I don’t see myself changing my career path because I love what I do. I am always reminded that a bit of compassion can help someone see that they matter in the world. My name is Tala and I am humanitarian worker with a passion for spreading smiles among everyone around me. I completed my Bachelor of Science in Biology from Lebanon, and then continued my graduate studies in Leadership and Management in Health and Social Care from the United Kingdom.

I am responsible for the non-communicable diseases project (NCDs) across Medair’s work in Jordan. I work with people suffering from diabetes and hypertension who cannot afford their medication. We help them cover the costs and I support them to  understand more about their diseases and in building a healthier lifestyle to improve their wellbeing. Over time I have built trust with these patients and I’m able to see the progress they make.  A while ago I found out that I am pre-diabetic myself, so I am now able to relate to each person who I speak to and each word that I say to them.

When Jordan’s COVID-19 lockdown began in early March, things changed drastically. I could no longer see people face to face, but they still urgently needed our assistance.  My colleagues and I set up home offices and continued working. We contacted patients over the phone for health awareness sessions and sharing COVID-19 prevention measures. Not only that, we made sure to spread positive vibes as well! It was important to make sure the people we serve felt how much we care for them and their well-being, especially during a pandemic of this scale. After conducting a short survey with them, we were also able to connect our patients with other services they needed, whether it was healthcare, groceries, or medication. As soon as the government loosened the lockdown and we were able to move at certain hours, Medair put together a plan to reach the most vulnerable and assist them when needed, without putting the officers or the people we serve at risk.

In times like these we understand the responsibility we have to do our jobs, and how important yet extremely rewarding it is! When we call people to check on them, they pray for us, or wish us happiness and thank us for what we are doing. Last week I spoke with an elderly lady who was so happy to hear from us that she started crying. She had no bread or water and she didn’t know how to get some. I was able to to connect her with the places that could help; I called the authorities and they got her food and water, for me it was a simple phone call, but for her it really made a difference. It’s something any of us could do, aid worker or not, to look after one another during this time.


 

Medair’s work in Jordan is supported by EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, German Foreign Federal Office, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and generous private donors.

This content was produced with resources gathered by Medair field and global support office staff. The views expressed herein are those solely of Medair and should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of any other organisation.