SOUTH SUDAN / ETHIOPIAN FEMALE MECHANIC

27-May-2020 00:02:55
Sergeant Almaz Kabtimer Desta, a young woman from Ethiopia fixes and maintains an average of four vehicles per day to ensure that fellow peacekeepers serving with the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) can patrol the region and provide protection to vulnerable civilians. UNMISS
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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN/ ETHIOPIAN FEMALE MECHANIC
TRT: 2:55
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGES: AMHARI /NATS

DATELINE: 23 MAY 2020, YAMBIO, SOUTH SUDAN

1. Various shots, Sergeant Desta fixing vehicles.
2. SOUNDBITE (Amharic) Sergeant Almaz Kabtimer Desta, UNMISS peacekeeper from Ethiopia:
“I joined the military because is a noble profession which I always wanted to do. Auto mechanics is what I enjoy, keeping vehicles running.”
3. Various shots, Sergeant Desta fixing vehicles
4. SOUNDBITE (Amharic) Sergeant Almaz Kabtimer Desta, UNMISS peacekeeper from Ethiopia:
“It touches my heart to realize how beautiful South Sudan and its people are. They treat me as their friend, daughter and family. It feels like my second home. It is very motivating to see them viewing as a role model [since] I am a female peacekeeper and a mechanic, carrying out my duties with my male counterparts.”
5. Various shots, Sergeant Desta fixing vehicles.
6. SOUNDBITE (Amharic) Sergeant Almaz Kabtimer Desta, UNMISS peacekeeper from Ethiopia:
“Being away from family in a time of such a world-wide health crisis is worrisome. In all my daily communication with my family back home, like on Facebook, I share health tips on what they should do to protect themselves to stay safe from the pandemic.”
7. Various shots, Sergeant Desta fixing vehicles.
8. SOUNDBITE (Amharic) Sergeant Almaz Kabtimer Desta, UNMISS peacekeeper from Ethiopia:
“I advise all fellow females to protect themselves from early marriage. I also like to advise all women to choose this sector [auto-mechanics], [which is] still mostly managed by men. We can and should demonstrate our equality and enjoy mechanics if that is what really inspires us.”
9. Various shots, Sergeant Desta fixing vehicles.

STORYLINE:

26-year-old Sergeant Almaz Kabtimer Desta from Ethiopia is currently serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in Yambio, Western Equatoria province of South Sudan as a mechanic. She fixes and maintains an average of four vehicles per day to ensure UNMISS peacekeepers can patrol the region, providing protection to vulnerable civilians consistently. Sergeant Desta joined the Ethiopian army six years ago after completing a two-year course in auto mechanics.

SOUNDBITE (Amharic) Sergeant Almaz Kabtimer Desta, UNMISS peacekeeper from Ethiopia:
“I joined the military because is a noble profession which I always wanted to do. Auto mechanics is what I enjoy, keeping vehicles running.”

One of 47 female peacekeepers from Ethiopia deployed to Yambio, Sergeant Desta says she is grateful for the opportunity to serve as a United Nations peacekeeper.

SOUNDBITE (Amharic) Sergeant Almaz Kabtimer Desta, UNMISS peacekeeper from Ethiopia:
“It touches my heart to realize how beautiful South Sudan and its people are. They treat me as their friend, daughter and family. It feels like my second home. It is very motivating to see them viewing as a role model [since] I am a female peacekeeper and a mechanic, carrying out my duties with my male counterparts.”

While Sergeant Desta is a committed peacekeeper, she admits that being away from her family and loved ones, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, is difficult.

SOUNDBITE (Amharic) Sergeant Almaz Kabtimer Desta, UNMISS peacekeeper from Ethiopia:
“Being away from family in a time of such a world-wide health crisis is worrisome. In all my daily communication with my family back home, like on Facebook, I share health tips on what they should do to protect themselves to stay safe from the pandemic.”

Despite the hardships and sacrifices that being a peacekeeper entails, Sergeant Desta is quick to recommend it as a career option for young women across the globe.

SOUNDBITE (Amharic) Sergeant Almaz Kabtimer Desta, UNMISS peacekeeper from Ethiopia:
“I advise all fellow females to protect themselves from early marriage. I also like to advise all women to choose this sector [auto-mechanics], [which is] still mostly managed by men. We can and should demonstrate our equality and enjoy mechanics if that is what really inspires us.”

As peacekeeping continues to evolve, female peacekeepers like Sergeant Desta, are destined to play a larger role within communities they serve.
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