How did a kid from White Rock, British Columbia end up working with South Sudanese and Congolese refugees in Uganda? And how does Humanity & Inclusion (HI), the organization that Ryan Duly works for, support the needs of the most vulnerable among these displaced populations?
Ryan Duly was born in White Rock, British Columbia but spent most of his childhood and teenage years growing up in different countries in Africa as the son of an aid worker. He studied International Development Studies at Trent University and Dalhousie University. After graduation, he spent two years in China teaching English before moving to Cambodia where he worked in community education, youth programs and road safety. From Cambodia to Thailand to Kenya, Duly continued in the field of humanitarian work, including diplomacy and armed conflict reduction. Currently in Uganda, he serves as Country Program Manager with Humanity & Inclusion, with a specific focus on the humanitarian response to the South Sudanese and Congolese refugee crisis, together with longer-term programming in health and livelihoods.
Humanity & Inclusion works to identify people with specific needs – people with disabilities, elderly people, single mothers with children, unaccompanied children – and helps them access services in the refugee settlements. Because many refugees have witnessed or experienced significant trauma, HI offers psychosocial support and mental health services. They also provide rehabilitation care and distribute crutches and wheelchairs to help people with disabilities gain greater independence.
It sounds like a lot of work, and it is. Duly notes that along with ensuring that their programs are effective in helping refugees, he must also ensure that the aid workers themselves get the support and rest they need to continue doing their job.
Although Duly’s passion for humanitarian aid has taken him far from White Rock, he still considers the city south of Vancouver his home.
Humanity & Inclusion is a member of the Humanitarian Coalition.