Siti Saleha is the Head of International Programmes at Mercy Relief. Over the past seven years, she has been a vital part of MR’s disaster relief operations and sustainable development programmes in Asia. Learn all about Saleha in our staff feature:
Saleha Ali, Head of International Programmes (IP)
Why do you want to work at Mercy Relief (MR)?
I have always been passionate about the humanitarian sector. Due to the nature of the work, there are many opportunities to foster deep human connections. This was what drove me to join MR right after I graduated from university and it continues to drive me to this day as I work on the ground, reaching out to more vulnerable communities and helping them with community development.
What does a typical day at Mercy Relief look like for you?
If I am not out for monitoring trips or relief operations, a lot of my time in the office is spent on my laptop. For example, I would usually be gathering updates from our ground partners through emails and Skype, having internal discussions with the rest of the IP team to improve our operating procedures and look at ways to expand our international programmes. With information coming from different stakeholders, consolidating and updating is an ongoing process.
What do you love most about working at Mercy Relief?
Being a humanitarian worker with Mercy Relief over the years has been humbling. I have witnessed many selfless acts of love amongst the survivors who were looking out for their community even in times of crisis.
Working on community intervention has given me the chance to hear for myself how the project has helped the beneficiaries. Most recently, while I was in Indonesia for the Disaster Resilience through Education and Ecotourism in Medan (DREEM) project, one of the community members told me that she managed to save 10 dollars a week from the job opportunity created by the project. She shared that this would be set aside for her 8-year-old daughter’s education. It is people like her, who voice their hopes of change – no matter how big or small – that provide the biggest push for us to constantly rethink our efforts and the way forward.
If you could drop everything to go for a vacation right now, where would you go?
Egypt. Since I was young, I have always been fascinated by ancient Egyptian history. I actually made plans to visit the country previously but due to some security issues I had to cancel the trip. Still, I hope to go there someday.
I am really good at arcade basketball. Different game machines have different scoring systems but I usually average about 200 points. Come and challenge me!