Voices from the Field: meet the team

Meet our Voices from the Field officers and find out what they enjoy most about their work, telling the stories of the communities we support around the world.

2 Feb 2015

Ernest, Madagascar

Voices from the Field officer Ernest

"I grew up in the centre of the city and we didn't have access to a clean water source. I helped collect water from the bottom of a hill from when I was four years old, until we realised it was dirty and was making people ill.

"Until then, we hadn't experienced any other water, so we assumed it was clean. After that, we had to pay for water. It was difficult for my mother as I had six brothers and sisters and my father died when I was one. We were so many, yet my mum did so much for us.

"My own personal experience, and seeing how bad the situation can be in other areas of the country, has given me a good understanding of the issue and the motivation to help."

Behailu, Ethiopia

Voices from the Field officer Behailu

"Voices from the Field is a very exciting project. The job title summarises what it's all about: getting the voices of communities from the field and connecting them with the people that support them. When I explain to people that WaterAid raises funds from thousands of individual supporters and companies who are concerned about their welfare, it almost confuses them to know that people from so far away care about others they have never met or seen."

Mani, Nepal

Voices from the Field officer Mani

"When I saw the advert for the Voices from the Field role, and saw that it involved filmmaking and photography, I knew it was the job for me because these are my passions. Going on my first field visit was amazing. It is very exciting being part of a global team. I feel like I am making a difference for my country."

Chileshe, Zambia

Voices from the Field officer Chileshe

"I’m excited about telling the collective success of WaterAid's work, because I think it forms an important component of the organisation. Supporters put their resources somewhere and in films, photographs and stories they can see where their money is going. That is what motivated me to join the team."

Basile, Burkina Faso

Basile Ouedrago, WaterAid's Voices for the Field Officer in Burkina Faso

“The Voices from the Field programme is so important because we report and illustrate stories to our supporters, so they can see what effect their fundraising is having. It’s great for me as I get to take photos and videos and tell stories to all these people.

“In Burkina Faso, there are many areas where people don’t have toilets and have to walk long distances to get safe water. Being part of this team makes me proud; it feels like I’m working for the development of my own country.”

James, Uganda

James Kiyimba, WaterAid's Voices from the Field Officer in Uganda.

“I grew up in a rural community where we walked long distances to collect water. We used to share a water source with frogs and cattle, but we didn’t have an alternative. People in my family used to get sick – now I realise that these were waterborne diseases.

“When we moved to a poor settlement in Kampala, the capital, water was also very scarce and only available early in the morning or late at night. We used to wake up at 4am to get in the queue. It was dangerous for women and girls, especially at night.

“I believe that access to water and sanitation is a fundamental human right – water is life and sanitation is dignity. So often we talk to people who are marginalised and when they speak no one listens. We’re here to amplify their voices.”

Find out what we think makes our Voices from the Field officers so special >