Braver choices needed to keep us all safe
By Leila Stennet Published by Campaign for Australian Aid on May 11, 2017
When I think about bravery, I think about my friend Mohammad.
He spends his days traversing his home, Afghanistan, undertaking highly dangerous and often life-threatening missions. The safety of his family is never guaranteed; they have been threatened because of what Mohammad does for a living.
He is a wanted man, a target permanently on his back and an eye permanently cast over his shoulder because of the risk he takes day in, day out.
Mohammad’s job? He vaccinates children. Mohammed Naseem is the Head of Mission, HealthNet TPO, Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan, polio vaccinators are regularly threatened, intimidated, beaten and even killed.
Rumours abound that polio vaccinators are American spies, or that polio vaccines are a form of chemical warfare.
So why doesn’t Mohammad leave, or get another job?
Despite the relative ease with which he could move to Europe and have a new life, Mohammad refuses. He has pride in his country, he told me over breakfast this morning, and faith in its potential.
I wish I could say the same about my own country.
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