NEW YORK: A 15-member group of the first-ever Pakistani Female Engagement Team (FET), deployed since June last year to work with the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Monusco), were awarded the UN Medal.

The team that was recently honoured at Adikivu in South Kivu, one of the provinces of the central African country, includes psychologists, stress counsellors, vocational training officers, gender advisers, doctors, nurses, operations officers, information officers and logistics officers.

“Throughout their deployment the Pakistani female officers worked hard to win the trust of the community,” according to a message received at the UN headquarters in New York.

The Pakistani FET has implemented many successful projects including vocational training, medical outreach, regular sessions of support to 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,” a press release said.

Another group of 17 female officers will join them in February, according to the Mon­usco peacekeeping mission press release.

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 added.

Published in Dawn, February 2nd, 2020