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Jesuit Universities Collaborate on Basic Training for Humanitarian Activists

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Beginning June 20, the first Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN) Conference will give 150 students from 20 Jesuit colleges and universities an introduction to the theory and practice of humanitarian emergencies, hosted by Fordham University.

The global need for expertise in humanitarian relief has never been greater, including crises in Myanmar (Burma), China, Somalia, and Sudan, and domestic emergencies in the Midwestern United States. The conference, Engaging Students in Humanitarian Action, aims to broaden participants’ knowledge and understanding of global humanitarian initiatives, create awareness of the need for humanitarian expertise, and build the capacity for humanitarian training among AJCU member institutions.

WHO:            Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network
WHAT:          Conference: Engaging Students in Humanitarian Action
WHEN:          Friday, June 20, Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22
WHERE:       Fordham University, Rose Hill Campus, Bronx, N.Y.
CONTACT:   Brendan Cahill, Administrative Director IIHA
Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs
(212) 636-6294 or iiha@fordham.edu

Sessions will include “Disaster Management—Challenges for the 21st Century” and “Organizing an Effective Response,” covering issues such as infectious diseases and HIV/AIDS; legal and physical protection; environment and natural disasters; shelter and camp management; Reaching Vulnerable Populations; and Early Warning, Mitigation and Preparedness.

Fordham, Fairfield and Georgetown Universities formed the executive committee for the June conference, and had taken the lead in creating JUHAN from the 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). Participants from Fordham, Fairfield and Georgetown have been working on the project since Spring 2006. The conference has received generous support from the Teagle Foundation to insure its topics can be incorporated into the curricula of participating universities.

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