Pinoy aid worker won't stop helping refugees

Posted at 07/03/12 10:34 PM

MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino aid worker, who was rescued from Somali kidnappers, is now recuperating in Nairobi, Kenya after he was shot in the leg.

Glen Costes was kidnapped in Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp along with 3 of his companions but was later freed following a gunfight between joint troops of Somalia and Kenya and the kidnappers.

Costes was hit by a bullet in his left leg as his group escaped from the armed captors.

He said he is lucky to be alive after having to walk more than 36 hours without food and with a bullet embedded in his leg.

“By God’s grace, I am just lucky to be alive,” he told ANC’s “Prime Time” on Tuesday.

Costes said the bullet, which was removed from his leg Monday morning, will be kept as a “remembrance.”

He received medical treatment at the military camp of Dhobley, located at southern Somali, along with Pakistani Qurat-Ul-Ain Sadazai, Canadian Steven Dennis, and Norwegian Astrid Sehl.

Refugee work

Costes said he is raring to return to his work as an aid worker despite what he has gone through, saying there are “450,000 refugees who need water and food everyday.”

“My experience will also explain what the refugees are experiencing but of course without the bullet wound,” he said.

Costes said being an aid worker is his “calling.”

“It will really break your heart to see that you have the means but for them, it is survival. Whatever you can give, they will take it. I have my own personal comfort to look at but looking at others, it is a dedication, my calling,” he said.

He is also planning to visit his family in the Philippines as soon as he is given medical clearance.

“I will be home just to ensure that my wife is OK, then back to Norway for a debriefing and maybe find a less hostile environment for the meantime,” he said.

The kidnapping of the aid workers was the latest in a series of attacks in Dadaab, where two Spaniards working for Doctors Without Borders were also kidnapped last October.

The two workers are still being held hostage in Somalia.