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Geography And Public Services Students Explore Careers in Humanitarian Aid

Date Posted: 27/11/2018 | Posted In: A Level, College News, Student News

On the mark its 10 year anniversary, Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) celebrates excellence in humanitarian action.  The University of Manchester is acclaimed for its study of humanitarianism, conflict response, global health, international disasters and peacebuilding. The institute prides itself on giving students the opportunity to engage with projects all around the world. But what exactly is Humanitarianism? Dr Eric Lepp, tutor in HCRI, hoped to answer this question when he visited College to present to A Level Geography and Public Services students. 

Humanitarian Aid is responding to natural and man-made disasters. Eric highlighted the importance of Humanitarianism by stating “disasters around the world are increasing immensely”. He went on to discuss more in-depth about the precautions taken when responding to a disaster.

Firstly, aid workers need to be prepared, they accomplish this by implementing early warning systems and stockpiling equipment. “Preparedness becomes a big part of the prevention cycle” Lepp explained. Then the response, this is when essentials are distributed among people who have suffered tremendous loss. Finally, there is the recovery stage; this is when precautions are put in place to prevent the disasters from happening in the future e.g. better buildings being constructed.

What separates Humanitarianism from other forms of disaster prevention is neutrality. “I don’t care what side you’re on, if you have a bullet in your leg, I will help you!” Lepp exclaimed. This separates them from the army as there is no political bias. Being independent from any other organisation is an advantage to aid-workers as they can focus on what’s important – helping all people.

Dr Eric Lepp did not set out to become a tutor for humanitarianism, his passion for the subject came from his time at university. He had a roommate from Bolivia who he decided to visit for the summer. “I noticed the incredible difference in life both academically and personally”.  After being prompted with a question, he went on to say how rewarding it was to “be around creative and original minds”.

With recent global events, the divide between people has never been bigger; it may feel easy for people to lose hope. The selfless work Dr Eric Lepp and HCRI continue to do shows that there is hope for humanity. ‘Help all people’ was the message Lepp wanted people to take away from his presentation. Humanitarian Aid has made people see the value in charitable acts and it will continue to inspire young students to make this world a better place to live in.

A big thank you the Dr Eric Lepp for speaking to students about the wide and varied range of career opportunities available to them. 

Article written by Bolton Sixth Form College student Sam Mulrooney-Hill. Sam is currently studying; A Level Media, A Level English Language and Single Vocational A Level in Business.