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Reflecting on Humanitarian Efforts in the Wake of Sandy
by
Alicia Jones and Don Bosch
on
October 30, 2012
| First Responders |

Photo: MTA | Patrick Cashin

Most weeks our gaze is directed towards humanitarian relief and development staff operating outside the U.S. We read the BBC voraciously in order to stay in step with those on the front lines, and we Skype regularly with field staff in Sudan, Kenya, Southeast Asia and elsewhere. Yesterday, we again turned to the BBC, but this time to better understand the disaster unfolding on our own shores. And yesterday, it was the MTA staff, the employees of power companies, police, volunteers, and city officials that drew our gaze and concern.

Each person becomes a humanitarian aid worker at times like this, reaching out to those in need.  In the weeks ahead, we'll hear inspiring stories of heroism, unselfishness, and human kindness as communities work together to recover.  Yet, many of those helping will face the same challenges that international relief workers encounter – vicarious trauma, chronic stress, compassion fatigue, and even burnout. 

Although our mission keeps us focused on humanitarian relief and development staff, we intentionally keep the resources free online in hopes that others who are on the frontlines of caregiving--if even temporarily--will find them helpful. So this morning, we are again thankful for those who go to help -- those close by and those far away.  Be well, our thoughts are with you.

Alicia Jones and Jim Guy

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