Oleg Tarasov has been working as a driver since the opening of the ICRC office in Odessa, our smallest sub-delegation in Ukraine. He’s got over 20 years of driving experience and a sincere love for cars.

When did you start working for the ICRC?

Since the opening of the office in Odesa. My first working day was on July 1, 2014. There was a funny situation: in the past, I also was a sailor and applied for a position with the sailing crew. Simultaneously, I saw a vacancy at the ICRC and became interested. When I got a phone call and was invited for an interview at first I didn’t understand what the position was about and brought my “sailing” documents. Thank goodness, I grabbed my driver’s license with me as well. Finally, after the competition between over 20 candidates, I got the job. I liked it very much; it was a difficult but a very active time with lots of trips. There was a flow of displaced people from Donbas to Odesa. We visited them in the sanatoriums to help. We brought them wheelchairs that were dismantled. Not all could put them together or figure out where each part should go. With my tools, I put the wheelchairs together. I even had to resolve conflicts, to calm down people. Conflict situations are frequent during aid distributions.

What is your brightest impression at this job?

My trip to Severodonetsk and Lugansk is remembered most of all. I took part in loading and escorting humanitarian cargo, and laid the route. Very interesting experience. Frankly speaking, I like business trips. At first, my family was concerned as who knows what might happen in the conflict zone. Now they got used to my work and they know that we use only safe roads. Most of all, my wife is happy that I do not sail anymore.

ICRC/Anastasiya Marchuk

What had you been doing before joining the ICRC?

I’ve got a long driving experience, since 1996. I worked with cash collectors and as a long-distance lorry driver. That is why I know the area and bypass roads well. I went sailing as a sailor-welder and an electrician. All Odessa residents are a little bit sailors 🙂

What is your biggest motivation to work for the ICRC?

I like to help people and to know that your work useful. It’s also important for me to learn something new all the time. We work with very interesting people from different countries and different occupations. They share their experience, open up and tell about their work.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love cars, fix them, fiddle around, and drive. I can spend the whole weekend in the garage. When I was young, I was keen on motocross; I even was awarded a sub-master sportsman category. But my wife and my son do not let me ride a motorcycle. They feel too stressed when I do it.

I am fond of fishing but I can rarely make it. I’ve recently put together a remote controlled fishing boat for taking the fishing tackle at long distances. You can throw a fishing rod max. 120 meters deep. But when on a boat it can be even 600 meters. My personal record is a 17.8 kg carp!