In recent years, millions of Iraqis have been forced to leave their homes, their cities and even their own country. Because of this upheaval, access to basic health care is often strained or, at times, non-existent. Meet Goran, Health Project Coordinator at World Vision Iraq. Working at the Laylan Camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs), Goran has helped shape the support provided so that families can receive essential basic health services.
As a student Goran discovered her desire to help people, particularly those who are displaced. Her first time in an IDP camp, she realized that caring for people’s needs meant going beyond providing them with solutions to physical ailments. This drove her to look beyond her then current skill set to see how she could help parents teach their children about values no matter the circumstances they faced. “That’s when I realized I wanted to work in the humanitarian field in the future,” said Goran. “The need was so relevant.”
A pharmacist by training, Goran helped World Vision set up and then oversee the pharmacy for health projects. She also manages the quality of consultations, ensuring patients receive the correct assessments and best care possible.
Working in Iraq can be challenging for women and particularly for those who become leaders. While some doubted her capacity to handle being a mother and also continuing to work in humanitarian aid, Goran found that it helped her to see new ways to support the children and their mothers. “Right after I became a mom, my whole view of what I was doing changed. Before that, I knew that the work we’re doing is great, but I didn’t really see it from a mom’s perspective.”
After her own child faced health issues, Goran realized that even more could be done. She found a way to have nebulizers in the clinics, ensuring ease of access for all children. This meant not having to refer children to other facilities which adds to the cost and stress for parents inside the camps.
Beyond providing health services, families who have faced violent conflict—leaving everything behind in search of a better and safer life—now have safe spaces for children to play. They also have a place where mothers can learn about health and better ways to care for their children. Families can learn about water, sanitation and hygiene, and the entire family is able to receive mental health and psychosocial support. Families now live better, healthier lives because of the work of Goran and other humanitarian heroes like her.
World Vision Iraq staff, Goran, on World Humanitarian Day
Goran stands as an example of the passion and commitment of humanitarian workers in Iraq. In a field that can be challenging, she remains dedicated to using her perspective as a woman and a mother to support families in need.