Celebrating International Youth Day

Humanitarian education, which is based on the 7 Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, has the power to inspire and develop the next generation of humanitarians. To celebrate International Youth Day, we invited some of our young IHL volunteers to join the Humanitarian Education Storytelling Campaign, an opportunity to share why humanitarian education is important to them. This is what they had to say:

How has humanitarian education changed your life?

Jessica Lach - HE Storytelling Campaign

Jessica Lach – IHL Youth Volunteer

In school, it is hard to find classes that put you into the shoes of another person.  Even as a college student, I have often found myself “sitting on the sidelines” while flipping through bland textbooks and sitting through boring lectures. However, this all changed once I found the International Humanitarian Law team at my university. Our action campaign was one of the first times I came face to face with humanitarian education, and furthermore, found myself swept into my own education rather than watching from the sidelines. By creating simulations that put participants into the shoes of victims of conflict, I started to understand what it is actually like to live a life completely different from my own. I no longer saw the world through my twenty- year old American girl’s eyes, but rather through the eyes of survivors who told testimonies about life in a conflict zone. For the first time, I imagined growing up as a child soldier, or what it feels like to be a mother in a refugee crisis, or even facing the same harsh realities as aid workers.

To me, humanitarian education isn’t just about learning the policies and rules which safeguard lives. Humanitarian education is also about learning how to connect with your neighbors half a world away in order to understand and empathize with their situations. Effectively, the two separate worlds no longer feel so far away.

How has humanitarian education changed your life? 

When asked about her humanitarian education experience, Hetal shared her thoughts in this short storytelling video!

Hetal Shah – IHL Youth Volunteer

You can join the Humanitarian Education Storytelling Campaign by submitting your written stories or videos to IHLYouth@redcross.org and sharing on social media using #humanitarianvoices. We can recommend applications you can use to make your own video!

8 responses to “Celebrating International Youth Day

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