Monthly Archives: April 2016

Alumni Update: Ferdinand von Habsburg-Lothringen (IDHA 9, MIHA)

Ferdinand von Habsburg-Lothringen (IDHA 9, MIHA) recently responded to an article featured on Insight on Conflict run by PeaceDirect. His response, rich in both experience and insight, was then featured as its own article, “The Complex History of Violence in South Sudan.” In his article, Ferdinand details what he has learned from his 20 years of field experience in the country, and he argues that in order to understand the current conflict within the country we must look to South Sudan’s complex history – a history that does not always fit into the frameworks and narratives that the international community often tends to impose upon it.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Alumni Updates

IIHA Event Series Featured Resources & Articles

In line with IIHA’s Spring Event Series “Challenges & Opportunities: Global Migration in the 21st Century”, below are some articles for further reading regarding the ongoing migration crisis.

Devex | Calais: A humanitarian ‘no man’s land’?

Many of the aid organizations that specialize in setting up and running refugee camps can’t go to Calais. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) lack the mandate to work in France. In their place, volunteer organizations and a smattering of international aid groups have set up shop amidst the endless tarpaulin and scrap metal shelters. Current active organizations include MSF, ACTED, Medecins du Monde, Care 4 Calais, and L’auberge des Migrants.

Devex spent two days in the camp shadowing aid workers and volunteers, asking what the Calais jungle means for the global humanitarian system, watch the video on their website.

Fordham Political Review | Compassion, Crossings, and Refugees

Fordham Political Review Editor, Katherine Labonte spoke with IIHA Helen Hamlyn Senior Fellow, Alexander van Tulleken, M.D. about his recent documentary and his thoughts and opinions of the ongoing migration crisis. Read the interview in the Fordham Political Review.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Event, Humanitarian Sector

IIHA Spring Event Series: April Round-Up Part 1

This semester, the IIHA is organizing a series of events that focus on the very timely topic of Challenges & Opportunities: Global Migration in the 21st Century.” With approximately 60 million people either forcibly displaced from their homes or migrating by choice, the current migration crisis presents a multi-faceted, global challenge. The IIHA is promoting events focused on migration as well as hosting a series of events offering different perspectives on the crisis.

Below is a summary of the events that were promoted and hosted by the IIHA in first part of April 2016. Check back at the end of the month for “IIHA Spring Event Series: April Round-Up Part 2” for more event summaries.

  • April 5, 2016 | Documentary screening: Refugee Kids: One Small School takes on the World
    Hosted by: Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs

2016-04-05 18.59.46Refugee Kids: One Small School takes on the World is a short documentary that follows students at a New York City summer program organized by the International Rescue Committee for children seeking asylum from the world’s most volatile conflicts. The film presents an intimate, emotionally gripping account of the students’ stories of escaping war and conflict and resettling in America, chronicling their triumphs and setbacks as their lives unfold over the course of one formative summer. Refugee Kids humanizes complex geopolitics and depict the challenges and urgency of immigration to America in an increasingly dangerous – and interconnected – world.

The film screening was followed by a Q&A session hosted by the film’s directors, Renee Silverman and Peter Miller. The directors spoke about their decision to use the children’s illustrations as a medium through which they were able to communicate the difficult realities of their stories. In particular, the illustrations provided a glimpse through the eyes of children, while preserving the dignity and humanity of each child.

  • April 8-10, 2016 | Association of Pratical Theology Biennial Conference

Hosted by: Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education – Fordham University

The Association of Practical Theology at Fordham University hosted its 33rd biennial conference; the theme of the conference was “Live, Move, and Have Being: Migration and Pracitical Theology.” The conference addressed how “the life-altering dislocations and relocations of many kinds of migration move our world today” and “how might practical theology engage migration so as to foster the ability to ‘live, move, and have being’ (Acts 17:28)?” The conference program consisted of tours of the United Nation, research sessions, and even included a session at a tattoo parlor in the Bronx.

unnamedIn 2016 the International Forum traveled to Gothenburg, Sweden. The theme for the conference was “Change. Save. Sustain. In Partnership with Patients”. The International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare is one of the world’s largest gatherings of healthcare professionals committed to improving patient care and their safety.

IIHA Helen Hamlyn Senior Fellow, Alexander Van Tulleken, M.D. spoke on the keynote panel on Tuesday, April 13. The panel, entitled “Providing Best Healthcare During the European Refugee Crisis – Mobilising Health and Care Support Services” focused on sharing learning on delivering health services to the most vulnerable across the migration route. An analysis of the pan-European experience of access to healthcare for migrants and the challenges of meeting the needs of refugees and migrants arriving in Sweden was presented.

Watch the video of Dr. Van Tulleken’s panel on the International Forum’s website.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 4.00.57 PM

With the Syrian conflict now in its fifth year, millions of people continue to be displaced. This film is the story of what happens next. By following two refugee families in transition and an aid worker fighting to keep the camp running, viewers will experience what it is like to live in Zaatari, the second largest refugee camp in the world. With no end in sight for the conflict or this refugee crisis, everyone must decide if they can rebuild their lives in a place that was never meant to be permanent.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Event

The Participant Perspective: Mental Health in Complex Emergencies

The Mental Health in Complex Emergencies (MHCE) course is an intensive multidisciplinary training course for mental health workers and humanitarian program staff who wish to gain insight and competency in establishing mental health or psychosocial programs in conflict and post conflict areas or in complex disaster settings. Following last year’s MHCE course in Ethiopia, two participants – Sujen Man Maharjan and Caitlin Cockcroft-McKay – wrote about their experience and shared how the comprehensive and intensive training positively impacted their work in the field. In his personal blog, Sujen Man Maharjan of ICRC Nepal reflects on the course and also highlights the personal experiences of his classmates – other field practitioners – as they work to implement Mental Health and Psychosocial (MHPSS) programming in complex emergencies. In a special alumni reflection for the IIHA blog, Caitlin Cockcroft-McKay of HealthNet TPO also reflects on the training and shares how the practical application of the knowledge and tools gained contributed to her work as Psychosocial Project Coordinator in South Sudan. In her post, Caitlin emphasizes the impact and value of trainings such as the MHCE course:


“The kinds of trainings provided by the IIHA at Fordham University bring the MHPSS community within the NGO and humanitarian sectors a step closer to understanding how best to implement MHPSS programs in various, and often very difficult, contexts. It helps us to direct the conversation at the ground level, at the national and international level, and then to express the needs (and potential solutions) to the donors. The training in Ethiopia has really given me the direction I need both within my work in psychosocial programming, and also at the country level. I am able to feed into the coordination mechanisms and reference the training and experiences of experts in the field, in order to guide the discussion and suggest options for improving the provision of services. This is something that will take time. With experiences such as the one I had in Ethiopia, I do think with time and passion and imparting of knowledge, we can edge closer to supporting countries to provide basic mental health services to their people.”

Read Caitlin’s full reflection on the IIHA blog and more about her experience on Sujen’s blog. The next MHCE course will take place in October 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. Learn more on the IIHA website.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Courses

Alumni Update: Ishmeal Alfred Charles (IDHA 40)

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 3.24.06 PM
Ishmeal Alfred Charles (IDHA 40) issued his monthly report for March 2016 as Sierra Leone In-Country Director for the Healy International Relief Foundation (HIRF). His report details how the recent international women’s day was celebrated in Sierra Leone.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Alumni Updates

Alumni Update: Elisa Carlaccini (IDHA 30, MIHA)

Elisa Carlaccini (IDHA 30, MIHA) was recently featured in the article “From mapping to kidnaps, UN aid workers train for refugee crises,” during a UNHCR Simulation in Thies, Senegal.

Leave a Comment

by | April 16, 2016 · 3:12 pm

Alumni Update: Barry Finette (IDHA 33, IDHA Tutor)

Barry Finette (IDHA 33, IDHA Tutor) has released his March 2016 THINKmdNewsletter. This edition shares news of THINKmd’s new partnership with the Universidad San Francisco de Quito for their MEDSINC impact study, and the addition of two strategic advisors to their data analytics group.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Alumni Updates

Alumni Update: Timo Luege (IDHA 21)

Timo Luege (IDHA 21) recently posted three new articles in his blog, Social Media for Good. His article “Between Hype and Frustration: Social Media in Emergencies” speaks of the increasingly pessimistic tone used to describe the work of NGO’s and UN agencies work; “Mobile, Internet, and Social Media Use in 232 Countries” talks about We are Social’s annual global statistics on internet and media use for the year of 2015; and, “Follow These Principles and Avoid Wasting Time and Money” provides helpful tips for maximized efficiency.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Alumni Updates

Headlining: Helen Hamlyn Senior Fellow

3499ef86-2f3e-4bd2-bc80-3923822d51c9
In February 2016, we featured IIHA Helen Hamlyn Senior Fellow Dr. Alexander Van Tulleken’s article about the European Migration Crisis, which was written shortly after his return from filming the BBC One documentary, Frontline Doctors: Winter Migrant Crisis. Alex, along with his twin brother Chris, spent two weeks observing and visiting camps and clinics throughout Europe to better understand the medical problems that migrants face. Earlier this March, the IIHA held a screening of the film, and Fordham News recently posted an article about the documentary and Alex’s experience in the camps. Alex was also featured in articles in the Evening Standard, Telegraph, and The Guardian.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Humanitarian Spotlight

Alumni Update: Jessica Alexander (IIHA Humanitarian Consultant, IDHA Lecturer)

Former IIHA Humanitarian Consultant and IDHA Lecturer, Jessica Alexander, recently wrote an article for Vogue Magazine in which she shares about love, loss, and finding new life after the tragedy of the Haitian Earthquake in 2010. Jessica is also the author of Chasing Chaos: My Decade In and Out of Humanitarian Aid.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Alumni Updates