World Humanitarian day – Meet Anne Reitsema

Please introduce yourself- what is your title and what do you do with Medair? When did you join Medair?
I joined Medair in 2004.  More than 18 years ago. I am the International Programmes Director.  I oversee all our country programmes, quality sectors, staff safety and security and our global emergency response team. I am on the executive leadership team of the organization.

What led you to becoming a Humanitarian Worker?
The community I grew up in was impacted by conflict. That made me interested in providing support to conflict effected individuals and communities.  I wanted to do it within the context of a team, working together with others. Inspiring and encouraging each other.

You have worked in this field for many years; please tell us about your experience as a Humanitarian worker with Medair?
I love the team and relational focus of Medair. Together we can do more!  I love that we don’t just care about what we do, but also about how we do it.  I love that we are able to do so much good together.  We seek to not lose sight of the individual amidst the large scale humanitarian programming.  We care about delivering quality assistance and coming alongside people and respecting them as we do so.

What are some of the more challenging aspects of your work?
The intensity and the level of insecurity in some of the difficult contexts we work in can be very challenging.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Working with highly motivated people who have an eye for others and genuinely care.

What is the most memorable moment you’ve experienced during your work? 
Seeing a child that was totally emaciated due to severe malnutrition with medical complications, become a health thriving child again with a few weeks of specialized nutritional support in our stabilization center. Being able to be part of living out the principle that every single life matters!

Where are you based? Can you tell us what you enjoy about working and living there?
Switzerland. I love the beauty of creation, of the amazing mountains and lakes. On a personal level it is so restorative to be surrounded by this beauty.

What do you enjoy the most about working with Medair?
To be able to be instruments of God’s love in this world, to be his hands and his feet and shine light by doing that. Together to be able to serve faithfully and do so much for others.  To uphold the value of human life.