Planning sustainable responses to humanitarian crises

by | Mar 17, 2020 | Campus News, News

Melanie Valente-Leite, News Reporter

Humber hosted a community event offering insights on sustainably responding to humanitarian crises.

“Imagine the power that we will unleash, the power of positive change in this world,” said Vera Beletzan, Senior Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Innovative Learning. “From providing an education that seeks innovation, to building values and mindsets such as sustainability into the curriculum of every program.”

Rahul Singh tells Humber students about how his company GlobalMedic handles natural disasters while being sustainable at the Barrett CTI on March 12. (Melanie Valente-Leite)

The Connecting for Sustainable Futures: Industry, Community and Educator Forum was held March 12 at the Barrett CTI to teach Humber’s staff and students about being sustainable, especially after natural disasters.

It’s a response to the global initiative launched the United Nations in 2015 to how sustainably develop projects, in particular in areas of humanitarian aid.

Sarah Nieman, a systems thinker and educator, directed the event to provide students and staff with the knowledge needed to continue moving forward as a functional society.

“We not only care about their workplace aptitudes but also their health and wellness because our mindsets are also heavily connected to the pursuit of a more sustainable and equitable world,” Neiman said.

Several workshops were available, such as Learning Sustainable Development Goals, Packing Family Emergency Kits, Designing a Path to a Circular Economy, and Projects with International Partners from Humber’s Global Polytechnic Alliance.

Rahul Singh, a former Humber paramedic graduate, outlined the different methods that have been used worldwide that help promote and support sustainability after natural disasters.

“Our climate is changing, the Earth is getting warmer, the number of storms and the impact of disasters that occur because of climate change,” Singh said. “The magnitudes of the number of crises that we’re responding to are increasing, and that needs to change.”

Singh is also the Founder and Executive Director of GlobalMedic, an aid agency that delivers first aid to areas hit by natural disasters.

GlobalMedics’ goal is to save lives by providing short-term, rapid responses in the event of natural disasters and crises. They operate six different types of primary emergency programs that provide rescue operations and supply water, food, medical care, and shelter.

By following these emergency programs, Singh and his team want to educate people on how to handle natural disasters while being sustainable.