Honouring aid workers on World Humanitarian DayAug 13, 2021
Ani Amiraghyan has been working for People in Need (PIN) Armenia since May 2021. As a Hotline and Database Assistant, she is responsible for answering and recording calls received via PIN’s community response and feedback mechanism (CFRM) cards. She also assists with updates to the database and provides support to the field staff. To help mark World Humanitarian Day on August 19th, we asked Amiraghyan about her work and what motivates her.
“I'm sure many of my colleagues will agree that humanitarianism is one of the most beautiful and important things in the world,” Amighyan says, when we ask why she joined the PIN humanitarian team in Armenia. “It was the sublime realisation that you are part of a powerful and great mission that pushed me to apply for this job. My country is going through a very difficult time now, and as any citizen who loves their homeland, I feel that I must help my compatriots in need. Indeed, PIN provides the best opportunity for assisting my fellow Armenians.”
“In my team, we communicate with people in need who are vulnerable and are often dealing with psychological stress. We hear their stories, we sympathise and empathise with them. After that, it is very difficult to go home and stop thinking about what we have heard and witnessed during the day,” she adds.
PIN has been operating in Armenia since 2003, supporting rural tourism, civic education, youth empowerment, the integration of migrants, and job creation. The mission was enlarged in 2020 to provide humanitarian assistance with funds from European Union Humanitarian Aid, the European Union Delegation to Armenia, the United States Agency for International Development, and the PIN Club of Friends. The PIN humanitarian response in Armenian began immediately after the armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. Since then, PIN has been working in the field to support the thousands of people fleeing the violence and crossing into Armenia.
According to some sources, there are still approximately 37,000 displaced people in Armenia who lost their homes in Nagorno-Karabakh and are living in shelters, rented accommodations, or the homes of relatives. PIN continues to provide humanitarian aid to these displaced people on a daily basis, providing them with a variety of services and hygiene kits.
Amighyan says: “The greatest lesson I have learned from having daily contact with people that have different personalities and desires is how to communicate with them, how to understand the issues correctly, and how to solve problems as quickly as possible.”
Number of beneficiaries or households supported by humanitarian projects in Armenia:
One of the ways in which PIN is helping in Armenia is by providing support to seven child-friendly spaces (CFS) in the Syunik Region. These spaces provide psychological and educational services and entertainment to 450 local and displaced children and their parents. CFS help both the children and their parents, as they provide a safe space where the children can deal with stress, play with their peers, and learn and share skills.
Working in the humanitarian sector has helped Amighyan feel stronger and more stable. She tells us: “It definitely changed me. When you communicate with displaced people and imagine yourself in their place, your daily worries suddenly seem so small. It makes you look at things and events from a different perspective. Over time, you become more resilient to problems.”
Every year on World Humanitarian Day, commemorated on August 19th, People in Need honours humanitarian workers around the world who risk their lives to provide aid to those impacted by conflicts, natural disasters, or the effects of climate change. Working as an aid worker has never been more dangerous. Of the recorded incidents last year, 95 percent of the victims of violence against aid workers were local staff members.