As humanitarian disasters rise in scale and severity around the world, an unprecedented number of people have become forcibly displaced from their homes. As humanitarians, we recognize that our shared responsibility to the plight of refugees and immigrants does not end in camps or at the onset of disaster, but rather extends into our own communities and with our own neighbors. Today, more than ever, we are presented with this call to bear witness.
The Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs and the Center for International Humanitarian Cooperation have a long standing tradition of training men and women around the world to effectively participate in answering this challenge. Our educational approach has been, for twenty years, remarkably consistent: by learning from and knowing one another, we become better humanitarian professionals. Consequently, we are able to provide aid to those affected by crises with intelligence, flexibility, and dignity. That celebration of other cultures and viewpoints has been a hallmark of every course we offer – whether to humanitarian professionals or undergraduate students.
Grounded in values of social justice and inclusivity, we are in full solidarity with our students and alumni from all around the world as well as the millions of refugees and migrants whom they serve – regardless of religion, nationality or immigration status.
In one week we will begin our 49th IDHA course, this time in Kathmandu, followed by courses in Barcelona, Vienna, Cali, New York, and Amman. We will continue to cooperate with other academic and non-academic partners, and especially our family of alumni, to offer assistance to those who most need it. We look forward, as an independent Center and as an academic Institute, to preserving the rights of all, and the championing of a better world.
Kevin M. Cahill, M.D., President, CIHC; University Professor, IIHA
Brendan Cahill, Executive Director, IIHA
Larry Hollingworth, C.B.E., Humanitarian Programs Director, CIHC
Photo credit: Andrew Leger, IIHA Communications Intern