What does it take to be a United Nations worker in some of the world’s most difficult and dangerous locations? How are health workers, humanitarians and peacekeepers racing to protect the most vulnerable populations from the threat of the COVID-19 virus? Stationed in remote locations and far from family, how are they coping themselves? To find out, Melissa Fleming, UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, meets them.
Here you will discover extraordinary personal stories from people who devote their lives to helping others.
Empower Your Women! - Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
“If you want to address the majority of the people who really need you, target women.” Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is the Executive Director of UN Women. As a young teacher in South Africa, she joined the struggle to end apartheid and reshape her country, rising to Deputy President under Nelson Mandela. She used her positions to bring the advantages of a growing economy to the poor. She uses her current role to fight for gender equality through the Generation Equality Forum.
Prisoner of Hope - Michelle Bachelet
Michelle Bachelet, now the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, was the first female President of Chile for the Socialist Party. Her father served in the Air Force. In 1973 he died in jail at just 50, after being taken prisoner during a coup that overthrew the government. Michelle speaks of how she and her mother were taken to a clandestine detention centre; of exile in Australia and East Germany; of her motivations to study medicine and return to Chile and why she remains a prisoner of hope.
United, we prevail. Divided, we fail - Rabbi Arthur Schneier
Rabbi Arthur Schneier is a Holocaust survivor and a human rights activist. He shares harrowing memories of his childhood in Vienna and later in Hungary after the Nazis came to power. Many of his family members were murdered, including his grandfather, a prominent rabbi who died in Auschwitz. Determined to become a rabbi in his honor, and to make a new life in the United States, Rabbi Schneier has dedicated a lifetime to promoting peace, reconciliation, and inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue.
Are we doing enough for the children? - Yasmin Ali Haque
Yasmin Ali Haque has worked for UNICEF for almost 25 years and is now the Country Representative in India. She explains how the current coronavirus situation there is driving some of the world’s poorest families back to negative coping mechanisms including a returning rise in child marriage. Involved in emergency response throughout her career, Yasmin was also working in Sri Lanka when the devastating tsunami hit in 2004 and shares some of the heartbreaking stories from the wreckage.
It Breaks Your Heart to Hear About the Brutality - Pramila Patten
Pramila Patten is the Secretary General's Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict whose work aims to end rape as a weapon of war, making it a crime that is both preventable and punishable. Pramila travels the world to meet survivors, carrying back the harrowing stories they entrust her to retell. She then advocates tirelessly on their behalf for accountability and justice.
Clearing Mines for 30 Years - Paul Heslop
Paul Heslop is the Head of the UN Mine Action Team in Afghanistan and has been clearing mines in conflict zones for nearly 30 years. He shares the remarkable progress deminers have made in removing explosive devices across the globe with Mozambique (his first post back in ‘94) declaring itself mine-free two years ago. Paul also recounts his time as a field officer for the Halo Trust when Princess Diana came to visit a minefield in Angola where he was working back in 1997.