UNHCR launches new 'Awake at Night' podcast series hosted by Head of Communications and Chief Spokesperson, Melissa Flemming

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Melissa Fleming hosts UNHCR podcast series Awake at Night

Melissa Fleming hosts UNHCR podcast series Awake at Night

UNHCR has an exciting new project called “Awake at Night” that sees a number of intriguing podcasts provide deep insight into what it takes to be a humanitarian worker in some of the world’s most difficult and dangerous locations.

The podcasts are hosted by UNHCR's Head of Communications and Chief Spokesperson, Melissa Fleming, whose engaging TED talk on refugees has been viewed more than 1.6 million times. 

So what does it take to be a humanitarian worker in some of the world’s most difficult and dangerous locations? To find out, Melissa Fleming meets them.

The very first podcast is with Vincent Cochetel who has worked for the UNHCR for over 30 years and spent the first part of his career listening to the horror stories of other people but then his own life became a nightmare when he was kidnapped in southern Russia and held hostage for 317 days. Listen to this incredibly moving podcast.

The remarkable resilience of refugees

Through the podcast series, Melissa Fleming sheds light on their devastating plight and remarkable resilience of refugees. Almost 68.5 million people in the world today have been forcefully displaced from their home - a level not seen since WWII. As many as four million Syrian refugees have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. In Lebanon, half of these refugees are children; only 20 percent are in school.

Melissa calls on all of us to make sure that refugee camps and settlements are healing places where people can develop the skills they'll need to rebuild their hometowns. Investing in this, she says, may well be the most effective relief effort there is. This inspires her and the teams at the UNHCR to tell stories of the individuals who are displaced.

So head on over to the UNHCR “Awake at Night” podcast series and listen to the very powerful and moving stories from those who devote their careers to helping and supporting others.

Many talented women work for UNHCR

"I work with pride in ICT because I know the services I offer on a daily basis help to improve efficiency and effectiveness in refugee camps and in the field, because connectivity and ICT support is required at all times. I am proud to serve as a humanitarian aid worker," explains Joan Opio, a Senior IT Assistant for UNHCR in Arua, Uganda.

"When I look to the future, I know what I want: For as long as I can, I want to be with UNHCR," proclaims UNHCR Protection Associate, Shirin Aktar, in Bangladesh.

“At UNHCR, your work depends on your desire. UNHCR supports your career path through internal and external training opportunities so employees can stay in a specialist function role or move into management positions. There’s a lot of support and encouragement for women at UNHCR,” explains Julie, an Irish national who has worked in Bosnia Herzegovina, East Timor, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, (fYRoM), Afghanistan, Nepal, Liberia, Sri Lanka and UNHCR's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Considered joining the committed teams at UNHCR?

Why not research the wide range of career opportunities available with UNHCR and think about how you can forge a meaningful career supporting and helping to rebuild the lives of refugees.

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