Selma Mohamed, a Public Information Assistant, joined UNAMID’s Community Outreach Unit in 2009. In this interview, Selma tells us how her previous experience working in a non-governmental organization enabled her to contribute to UNAMID’s mandate delivery across Darfur.
Q: Tell us about your work with UNAMID.
A: As a Programme Coordinator for UNAMID’s Community Outreach Unit, my work relies heavily on planning skills as well as harmonious interactions with local communities across Darfur. I organise awareness-raising workshops, sport tournaments, peace festivals and women-centric activities. In most cases, I rely on relationships I have built over the years with Darfuri community leaders and try to tailor events in such a way that they appeal to local sensibilities, while, at the same time, educate people regarding UNAMID’s mandate in Darfur.
Q: What has been your biggest achievement in your stint with UN peacekeeping?
A: An outreach campaign I am most proud of in the course of my career at UNAMID is the ‘Darfuri Women Talking Peace’ programme, which encourages Darfuri women to work towards achieving sustainable peace.
This is an ongoing campaign which includes training women on income-generating activities to improve their living conditions. Also, they get to participate in various fora that enables them to participate in peace consultations.
Furthermore, one of the target groups of this campaign are the Hakamats, female singers who traditionally sang to motivate men going to war. These Hakamats now use their skills to sing for the cause of peace across Darfur and are very influential in local society, reaching out to men, women, children and youth groups.
The wide reach of the Darfuri Women Talking Peace campaign is something I am very proud of.
Q: In your opinion, why is it important to invest in peace?
A: In my opinion, it is only through investing in peace that societies can develop. We hold the power to change our own situations as well as our future for the better. Therefore, it is time that we start working towards a harmonious existence for all.