U.N. MISSION IN SOUTH SUDAN
Chief Inspector Doreen Mazuba Malambo of Zambia believes in a simple motto: “When you teach a woman, you teach a nation.”
She has brought that wisdom to more than a decade of service in peacekeeping missions on the African continent where she has helped protect women and children caught in conflict. Now serving in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), she has been named U.N. Woman Police Officer of the Year.
“I’ve always believed that women need to be heard on any issue that has a direct bearing on their day-to-day life,” she said. “My work as a gender advisor allows me to make efforts toward empowering South Sudanese women and girls every day. Being able to build capacities of local law enforcement agencies is a bonus.”
Malambo has served in South Sudan since 2016, beginning as a Joint Integrated Police Force trainer. Three months after she arrived in the country, war broke out. Before long she found herself helping the people who flocked to the UNMISS camp looking for protection.
“I was scared myself, but I knew that if a police officer in uniform shows fear, then there will be no hope for these women,” she said. “So, I started encouraging them and telling them that the fighting will stop, it will end.”
Malambo is a single mother and empathized with the plight of those separated from their families or attacked in the conflict. She encouraged the women to become peacemakers. “I must have influenced a few of them because soon enough, many women started calling upon their husbands to stop fighting,” she said. “We began seeing men coming in to the UNMISS compound and surrendering their weapons.”
She said she was “overwhelmed and honored” to receive the award but believes serving those in need is the greatest privilege. “The true reward for me as a peacekeeper, as a police officer and as a woman is the opportunity to serve a cause that transcends all boundaries — sustainable peace for all, including the marginalized, the displaced and the disabled.”