“I followed my husband for his expat contract, which meant resigning from my job. I saw this as an exciting opportunity, for our life together and for our son’s future. However, the difference in geography, culture, language and finally the covid pandemic, were not easy on me. I experienced job rejections, difficulty to learn the language, no social life or family around me and moreover, a completely occupied husband and son. The whole situation started to have a negative impact on my family.
Then, I met a friend of mine who works for French Red Cross and I saw the shine in her eyes when she proudly expressed what it meant for her to be part of the Movement. That inspired me to register for France Benevolat Nord (an association working for volunteer development). I thought: If I am not able to help myself, let me concentrate my efforts into something useful and help others, wherever possible. Finally, I received an e-mail from the French Red Cross and went there immediately. That changed everything.
I was always aware that refugees exist, people leaving their countries to get to another for various reasons, but not until I saw the situation with my own eyes, did I realize what it can entail. Though we were very nicely briefed on what we were expected to do, what the situation is like when we are on the site, the words came nowhere close to describing what I felt when I started my assignment. All the people who have to leave their country, maybe for good and not by choice, it is simply inhumane!
Working to better the situation for them made me feel at ease. I am helping people with necessary information, orienting them towards the right association that will try to fulfil their needs, giving them phones to call to their beloved ones, talking to them with the broadest smile possible in a language neither of us understand, but the point is to make them feel comfortable and capable.
Sometime, it could be challenging to go back home and sleep in a warm bed while thousands out there are struggling in the harsh cold weather. This kept me up at night, but my son helped me to remember that to help as much as possible I needed to sleep enough. I decided to follow his wise advice.
I have mostly been working as a part of the Family links team in a mobile nursing device for migrants. The work involves spreading awareness about the security concerns for immigrants when crossing borders by road or by water, orienting them to the right associations depending on their needs and research to find or to re-establish the contact with their loved ones.”
– Shubha Loganathan, France
“It is never too early to learn about humanity and helping others in need”
“Working for the Red Cross has impacted my life in many ways. First and foremost, I have stopped complaining. I have understood the true sense of not wasting and buying just what we need. I share my experience on a regular basis with my family and friends, because I strongly feel that the younger generations need to learn to empathize with their fellow humans. It is never too early to learn about humanity and helping others in need. I want to start teaching people to be as compassionate as possible, help as much as possible! ‘Help’ does not have to involve money, simply being there for those who need it helps more than we can imagine.
I believe that there is no better person than a woman to be a leader in this field, we find examples of that at every walk of our lives. The real challenge is in realising our true potential and our true values and dreams. I would like to quote the great Indian aerospace scientist APJ Abdul Kalam, whom I idealise, “Dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep.” There is no one but you, who can stop you from achieving what you dream of. I strongly believe that women are born with the natural abilities to lead and manage. My dream is to make other women realise that the challenges we overcome every day are just steps to gain confidence, confidence to conquer any future obstacle in life. Once we realise that, there is no stopping us.“
Globally, women are currently 118 years away from closing the gender gap.