"As a Civic Voter Education Officer, I have the opportunity to get to know the society and the treasures of the Darfuri cultures. Being integrated into Sudanese life is great.
I learn from them, they learn from me" says Sana Bousbih, French UNV volunteer assigned to the Electoral Assistance team in Nyala, Southern Darfur state.
Volunteering in Sudan is no coincidence for Sana. Her interest in the country originates from her French and Arab-Tunisian background and during her studies she wrote papers on Sudan. Volunteerism was also inherited:
"I come from a humble family of immigrant parents who despite all difficulties managed to give me access to the best schools. They taught me to be available for anyone in need.
Some people decide to volunteer in order to do something different. For me it's not just that, I think as human beings we are all vulnerable, our lives can change in a second, tomorrow I could be the one in need."
Sana has been volunteering since the late 90s in organisations supporting immigrants, refugees and stateless people arriving in France. She also worked with an education association and helped develop teaching tools for schools in her region. This expertise was used by Sana to assist the Southern Darfur State High Committee (SHC) for Elections in designing civic voter education activities.
Being an Arabic speaker, Sana can communicate more easily with her Sudanese counterparts and create linkages with community based organisations. That is in fact what Sana values most in her assignment: getting to know the work of Darfuri women active in civil society organisations:
"Working in Darfur is challenging, but despite the difficult and tiring moments, I feel enriched with the gifts of the locals: their confidence and joy for learning. And I feel proud to witness a historical moment in the life of this large country."