Karin Eklund, Sweden
I arrived in Georgia and EUMM field office Gori in July 2018. When selected I was excited to be a part of this Mission and to contribute to stabilization, normalisation and confidence building in line with our mandate established after the war of 2008.
Working in Georgia and in a post-conflict environment has made a great impression on me. For me, the most rewarding part of my work here is meeting the local population living along the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) and listening to their stories and experiences.
I especially remember a day when we had a group of local children receiving awards for their work in the MHQ within the 16 Days of Activism campaign. Their excitement made me believe that we make a difference here and even bringing some hope to the new generation born along the ABL and in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) settlements.
My interest in understanding how conflicts affect the civilian population has brought me to several years of work with migration and refugees in both a national and international level - and now it brought me to Georgia and the EUMM.
I find the Georgian mentality very warm and open. We meet many people on our daily patrols and they always welcome us with a smile and sometimes even invite us for a Georgian feast ‘supra’.
I have seen and heard a lot throughout my work, meeting people who experienced war and violence. Even though all conflicts are different and each has their own individual unique complexity, I often find myself meeting conflict-affected people expressing somehow a shared fear: a fear that no one will tell their stories or being ‘a population left in a forgotten conflict’.
I believe that my contribution is by helping someone have his or her story heard and told. Therefore, I am proud and happy to work with the EUMM and contribute daily to reports updating European Union member states and external actors on the development on the ground, and life along the ABL.