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"On Wednesday, I attended the Peace Symposium, which was superbly organised initially by Rob Helme and later by PDG Murray Verso. The workshops included an extraordinary array of guest speakers – but I thought I’d tell you about one of the breakout workshop sessions I attended: “Humanity and Humanitarian Aid” which was ably moderated by our own member Kirsten Sayers. Her concluding comments below are, I believe, worthy of sharing:


“Humanitarianism and People of Action – How do humanitarians contribute to sustaining peace?

In sharing their perspectives on the what and how of contributing to and sustaining peace, Barnaby Caddy, Anngie Burchill and Natascha Hryckow drew on their extensive experience and shared case studies from their various deployments.


As for the why:

Barnaby shared his view that trust is not automatic. It needs to be built at an individual and organisational level.

For Anngie, response hinges on access and it is difficult to gain and retain access if there is no trust.

Natascha spoke of the need to understand the trust deficit and that you need understanding to build trust and trust to build understanding. 


As for the how:

Barnaby expressed how important it is to be an ambassador. Mistakes made by an individual can become mistakes for everything that comes afterwards – and reflect on an organisation or even a country.

For Anngie, we must adapt what we do and how we do it, depending on the community needs and dynamic.

Natascha spoke of the critical need to do your homework. Technical expertise alone is not enough when linking humanitarian action and peace building. You need to ask the right questions and listen to the people on the ground – humanitarians and leaders.


In reflecting on the session and thanking participants and the panel, it is it is clear we are all people of action. By listening, partnering and working together, through organisation such as RedR and Rotary as well as other partners involved in humanitarian action, together we can build a safer and more sustainable peace with communities around the world.”

Thank you Robert.


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