Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

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1st National JUHAN Conference: Engaging Students in Humanitarian Action

1st National JUHAN Conference:
Engaging Students in Humanitarian Action

Fordham University
Summer 2008

The 1st National JUHAN Conference: Engaging Students in Humanitarian Action focused on bringing together undergraduate students, faculty, and staff from all Jesuit Universities in the United States to share resources, expand institutional knowledge, and advocate for solidarity on humanitarian issues. The goal of this workshop was not only to educate undergraduate students on the complexity of humanitarian aid and response, but also to provide students with the necessary tools and guidance needed to begin careers in this professional field.

Through this workshop, JUHAN hoped to provide its participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to demonstrate:
  • A common understanding of the concept of humanitarianism
  • An understanding of global civil society and its relationship to humanitarianism
  • An understanding of the differences between the consequences of military intervention for humanitarian reasons and humanitarian action by civil interests (NGOs), as well as the way in which these two modes of humanitarianism interact
  • The ability to recognize the ways in which the social, political, ethical, expressive, and religious dimensions of society guide motivations and justification of humanitarian intervention and action
  • An understanding of the consequences and complexities of humanitarian intervention and action

There was a plenary session by expert speakers addressing the topics:

       1. Disaster management: Challenges for the 21st Century
        2. Organizing effective responses

These were followed by a series of breakout sessions, where smallergroups discussed a range of general topics such as mandates, health and nutrition, sanitation, logistics, regional issues, working cross-culturally, psychosocialprograms, security, etc. The workshops also provided the tools required to build and enhance the skills required for effective emergency responses such as leadership and organizational skills, communications, media relations, advocacy, fundraising, etc. Each afternoon session featured a prominent keynote speaker, followed by applied activities and case studies where students had an opportunity to gain an insight on responding to emergency situations.




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