A tribute to Mercy Corps' drivers around the globe

June 17, 2010

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Roger Burks/Mercy Corps  </span>
    Arsim Ukaj behind the wheel in northern Kosovo. Photo: Roger Burks/Mercy Corps

The death of our colleague Habibullah in Pakistan is a good time to reflect on the unheralded role of the Mercy Corps drivers.

Mercy Corps has hundreds of drivers in all of our field offices around the world. These drivers are often among the lowest-paid of employees, but nothing would get done without them.

They work incredibly long hours getting staff to and from field sites. They ensure we are safe and well cared for. They are expected to be able to deal with any emergency that comes up and they are both safety and security experts.

Many of them know more about our programs than almost anyone else, as they see more and here more than the rest of us. They often also become invaluable liaisons with the communities in which we work. And they are famous “fixers,” able to find anything we need to purchase, deal with intransigent officials, and solve many random problems that have nothing to do with driving our cars and trucks.

They receive none of the glory for helping the people we try to help, but without them we would be unable to accomplish any of the work we do.