March/April 2018
Humanitarian Action and Education Edition
Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution
Coastal Promise 2018, Fellsmere, FL: Engaging with IDPs
Dear Colleague:

We hear the statistics all the time now: UNHCR reports there are nearly 66 million people around the world displaced from their homes, the largest number since World War II. And looking at the most vulnerable places in the world: nearly 6 million displaced from Syria, and close to 3 million from Yemen. The numbers are staggering. But if we only considered these numbers, and not the human stories and suffering behind them, we would learn little. Humanitarianism - concern and actions to promote human welfare - takes myriad forms and approaches. We tend to focus on "global" issues such as displacement after war or natural disasters, but "domestic" humanitarian action is just as important. Consider the needs of those in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria: for Americans, this was (and still is) a domestic humanitarian tragedy.

Humanitarian crises demand responses from many quarters to alleviate suffering, rebuild societies, and if possible, prevent future calamities. This is particularly the case when man-made disasters are present such as war. For groups like the White Helmets who are working in Syria, their concern is first and foremost alleviating suffering. But beyond that creating space for peaceful engagement can often be an outcome of humanitarian activities.

For Americans, there is ongoing discussion both in Washington and in diners around the U.S. about the value of engaging globally in humanitarian activities. Often taking the form of financial aid, the U.S. government has traditionally been a major contributor to assistance programs around the world through agencies such as USAID. But for many Americans, their humanitarian contributions are through private organizations, both local and global. There is a need for not only financial contributions (often, more critical than "in kind" donations which are often wasted), but education and training for young people and professionals who are interested in engaging globally and domestically in times of crises. For some, humanitarian activities will be an occasional effort defined by an event, but for others, a career in humanitarian work is their road. As such, providing awareness, education, and training opportunities are important. More over, creating an environment and fostering values that encourage humanitarian engagement is critical: devoting one's career to aid work, peacebuilding activities, or development efforts is critical to maintaining a society that is peaceful and prosperous.

I published an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun in January 2017 on the need for Americans to engage in humanitarian action.

In this newsletter, I am focusing on humanitarian action and education. Below you will find some resources and features that might be useful in advancing humanitarian work. We need humanitarian outlooks and professionals now more than ever before.

David J. Smith
March 28, 2018

PS: If you feel that you are receiving this newsletter in error, I apologize. You can "unsubscribe" using the button at the bottom of the page. 

Photo credit: David J. Smith
What is Humanitarian Education?
A good gateway to understanding humanitarian education is through resources provided by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. At this site you will learn about course work in a range of humanitarian related fields including global health, disaster management, and diplomacy.
Organizations Engaged in Humanitarian Education
On the global level, a range of organizations and agencies are involved in humanitarian education at various levels including the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (known as INEE), the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and the NGO I'm part of, the Forage Center for Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Education.
Forage Center Hosts Coastal Promise Program in Fellsmere, FL
The Forage Center for Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Education hosted its 3rd humanitarian and peacebuilding field simulation in Fellsmere, FL, March 15-18, 2018. Graduate students attended from George Mason University, Drexel University, Gaia University, University of Alabama/Birmingham, New York University, Creighton University, Georgetown University, Brescia University, and American University. Click here to read more about the program. Look for information in the next newsletter on our November program.

Keeping up with News
Keeping up with the major humanitarian news topics can be done through local media as well as international sources such as the BBC . But you if want a more detailed look, and a chance to examine topics that might be missing from traditional news outlets consider Reliefweb . Other resources are IRIN , Humanitarian web , and Euronews .
Reading for Students
If you are a high school or college educator, I would recommend The Peace Journalist as a good accessible (and freely downloadable) source for humanitarian news and issues. It is published by the Center for Peace Journalism at Park University. The current edition looks at Ethiopia.

Forage Center Partners with La Roche College to Host Humanitarian Training Program, Pittsburgh, PA, May 2018

If you are interested in learning more about humanitarian work and possibly planning a career in the field, consider attending La Roche College's Global Development and Humanitarian Aid Training Program May 21-25, 2018. The Forage Center for Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Education is offering the simulation part of the program. This program is open to U.S. and international college students, professionals in the field, and all those interested in humanitarian work.
Featured Peacebuilding Group
In my blog, on a weekly basis I feature a peacebuilding group whose work I think needs to be shared and promoted. Recent groups have included March for Our Lives, Mediators Beyond Borders International , Valencia College's Peace and Justice Institute , and Peace Direct .
HIV Education In Namibia; Presentations in the DC Area
As has been my tradition, I wanted to share with you a bit about Namibia and my son's work in the Peace Corps. HIV education is important in many parts of the work, including Namibia. He recently participated in a workshop for young people on reproductive health. Volunteers in the Kavango Region conducted an interactive camp for 40 youth that focused on teenage pregnancy prevention covering topics such as the reproductive cycle, consent, and family planning. He will be in the DC area in early May for about a week. He is open is giving presentations on his Peace Corps experience. If you are interested in having him give a talk to students, let me know.
Talking About Peace
I was honored to give a talk at the TEDxFulbright program "A Curious Picture" in June 2017 at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. Click here to view it.
Peace Jobs: A Student's Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace
  Peace Jobs was recently reviewed by Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice (by Tom H. Hastings)

"As one who already uses Smith's book, I hope he updates it with successive editions every few years. It will continue to be a valuable tool for us all as we help students prepare to do what most peace studies students want to do - save the world, full time, and maybe even pay the rent and buy some groceries."
Information Age Publishing has recently reduced the price of Peace Jobs to make it more affordable to students. It is now available for $33.99 . It can also be ordered in a  Kindle edition .  
Career Coaching

Are you looking to make a career change in 2018 and looking at the international education, peacebuilding or conflict resolution fields? I am career coaching younger and mid-career professionals who are looking to make a career change. 

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much"
-Helen Keller
David J. Smith Consulting ||