Members of the first-ever Pakistani Female Engagement Team (FET), which is deployed with the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), were recently awarded the UN Medal at a ceremony in Adikivu in South Kivu, one of the provinces of the central African country.
This team of 15 female Majors and Captains was the first ever Pakistani Female Engagement team in any UN peacekeeping mission around the world.
The officers are psychologists, stress counsellors, vocational training officers, gender advisers, doctors, nurses, operations officers, information officers and logistics officers, according to a message received at UN Headquarters in New York.
Another 17 female officers will join the team in early February, according to a report by the Associated Press of Pakistan.
UN Peacekeepers rely heavily on engaging with the local community — which feels more comfortable liaising and sharing information with military troops that include women alongside men, the mission said.
“Throughout their deployment the Pakistani female officers worked hard to win the trust of the community,” it added.
The Pakistani FET, according to the mission, has implemented many successful projects including vocational training, medical outreach, regular sessions of support for students, local women and teachers exposed to trauma; and psychological workshops for Congolese police personnel.
“This team’s extraordinary endeavours to serve the UN is worthy of praise”, read the press release.
Governor South Kivu Province Theo Ngwabidje represented the Congolese authorities at the ceremony.