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“I am raising and amplifying the voices of the people on the ground”

Explosive weapons Rights

Yasmine Daelman, 28 years old, works as an advocacy and humanitarian policy advisor with Humanity & Inclusion in Yemen.

Portrait of Yasmine Daelman,

Portrait of Yasmine Daelman, advocacy and humanitarian policy advisor with HI in Yemen. | © Jean-François Roland / HI

What is your job?

What we always like to say, as advocacy people, is that humanitarian aid alone will not solve crisis. Therefore, we try to influence political decision-making. For example, in Yemen, we work a lot on explosive weapons used in populated areas. Because they have been widely used since the beginning of the war and it has had a tremendous impact on the civilian population.

We try to gather information on the consequences of war. For example, in Yemen, over 50% of health facilities have been decimated. We take this information and try to bring it to the attention of different stakeholders, such as politicians, diplomats but also the media. What we do is to urge them to undertake action and to bring about changes in policy and practice.

What impact does your job have?

To be honest, I do not feel like I am changing the world or making it a better place. I find it a bit of a "white savior" kind of idea to have. What I like to think, is that I am raising and amplifying the voices of the people on the ground, the civilians who are suffering. Because they do have a voice. They are just no able to raise it at the moment, because of the circumstances they find themselves in.

This is why I do what I do and why I love what I am doing, which is advocating on their behalf, until they are able to raise their own voice again.

Why did you choose to join HI?

I think I was really drawn to HI's mandate. I think the work HI does is very impactful. I like the idea that when you are implementing rehabilitation activities, you do not just give people new legs, you really give them new lives. That is something I was really drawn to.

Then, of course, as an advocacy person with an advocacy background, I really knew that if I was going to work for an organization that won a Nobel Peace Prize because of its extensive advocacy efforts, I was going to have a really interesting and enriching experience.

What is it like, working at HI?

I think it is very different for everyone, because we all work in very different contexts, in different missions across the world. I do not think there is a set answer for that.

But, you know, talking to friends I have in other missions, in Venezuela or in Iraq for instance, I do feel that we all have this sense of, you know, belonging. We are all trying to achieve this common goal, which is inclusive humanitarian action and inclusive development for all. And that's something I think motivates all of us across HI.

Date published: 06/22/22


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