Editor’s Note: Welcome to a new GOHWP blog series! In each Member Spotlight, GOHWP members will participate in brief interviews with each other in order to facilitate connections and collaborations. Our first Spotlight features Nicole Brewer, a new student member from the Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA) program. Read more about Nicole below! If you would like to participate in a Spotlight interview as an interviewer or subject, please contact the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I first learned about the Global Organisation for Humanitarian Work Psychology (GOHWP), while researching humanitarian programs and networks on LinkedIn this past year. I’m currently transitioning from the field of ESL English as a Second Language teacher from the past several years abroad in countries such as South Korea and Oman. I’m interested in the non-profit field working with children in various capacities.
While researching International Humanitarian graduate programs, I came across the Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA) Erasmus Mundus program in Europe. The MA program is a joint masters program with 7 partner Universities across Europe from Dublin, Ireland to where I currently study in Bochum, Germany. What attracted me to the program was its’ practical and hands on approach field of study. We have had guest lecturers visit from within the field from organizations such as the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement and the European Commission ECHO. Additionally, just within the first semester of our program I’ve attended several seminars and workshops giving us the opportunity to learn from leaders in the Humanitarian Action field.
The NOHA program as well has partner Universities throughout the globe and I will be a visiting scholar this summer at our partner school in the Western Cape, South Africa researching about gender based violence in the region. As a globe trotter and travel writer of a wonderful blog entitled I Luv 2 Globe Trot, this amazing program where I learn from various individuals and study with unique students from around the world was the best fit for me.
We are pleased to announce that one of our founding members, Dr. Malcolm MacLachlan, has been honored with the American Psychological Association’s International Humanitarian Award. Dr. MacLachlan (Mac) has been instrumental in helping to establish the discipline of humanitarian work psychology and was one of the original members of our precursor organization – the Global Task Force. Throughout his career he has worked tirelessly to enhance the welfare of some of the world’s most disadvantaged people – devoting his scholarship to the interlocking issues of disability, international aid, and culture. He is a quintessential example of the interdisciplinary nature of humanitarian work psychology – having worked as a clinical psychologist, management consultant, researcher, and practitioner in the field of global health.
The new executive board took office in November and has begun working around 9 portfolios of work:
Advocacy (Stu Carr)
Blog and newsletter (Tara Behrend)
Communication (Ashley Hoffman)
Marketing (Ines Meyer)
Membership (Doug Maynard)
Organisational issues (Mary O’Neill Berry)
Student issues (Alex Gloss)
Value (Kristen Kirkland)
Website (Doug Maynard)
Our key goals for the year are divided into three areas:
- First, to continue the structural development of the organisation through working on issues like the website, a code of ethics and registration.
- Second is a focus on outreach, to help spread the word about what GOHWP members are doing. This includes this blog and a semiannual newsletter, as well as advocacy, through collating information on the work currently being done by members as well as identifying areas where we have a contribution to make, and raising awareness of these through the media and conferences. Related to this is a focus on marketing – particularly to areas of the world where we have fewer members.
- Thirdly, we are developing information for members to be posted on the website like tip-sheets, FAQs, updated resources, and conference information.
Across all of these areas our student representative, Alex, is paying particular attention to the needs of students.
But we need your help! We would love to hear from anyone who is interested in helping in any of the above portfolio areas. Please let us know at email@example.com which portfolio you’re interested in, and we can let you know more information about what we’re planning and how you might be able to get involved.
On top of what we’ve planned, if you have ideas of your own we’d like to support you to put them into action. So send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let us know what you’re thinking and how we can help, and we’ll do our best to do so!
This year promises to be an important one for GOHWP, as we move our focus from the structural issues of getting the organisation established, to working on the visibility of HWP, and helping more people to get involved through their study, work, research and teaching. There is so much to do in these exciting times, and I hope that many of you will join us in paving the way for HWP in the future!