Global Aid Worker connects humanitarian, relief, & development workers (“aid workers”) around the world. Through the online forums & discussion groups, aid workers can support each other, learn from one another, & acquire & share critical country-specific information to ease transitions into new countries & cultures.
By connecting online, aid workers in remote corners of the globe feel less alone & more understood, staff who have survived traumatic incidents feel understood & supported thanks to interaction & exchange with others who have had similar experiences, & discussion groups enable aid workers in diverse environments & cross-cultural contexts to engage in thoughtful exchange in order to render the humanitarian, relief & development systems more effective.
Resources on the realities of aid work, the beauties and challenges of serving as an aid worker, & on security risks & trauma help those interested in becoming aid workers become better informed & those already deeply engaged in aid work to be more effective in their aid-working roles.
By becoming better informed on aid work, meeting colleagues one might not otherwise have the opportunity to meet or learn from, & engaging in discussions, staff become more knowledgeable & more proactive about their work & how to improve it, feel better connected & more understood, & challenged to maintain the motivation necessary to truly make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.
What Does Aid Work Mean?
For the purpose of this site, Aid Work refers to humanitarianism & international development. An Aid Worker, thereby refers to anyone involved in these sectors – whether they have sweat on their brows deep in the trenches of the field, are surviving on goats’ blood in an isolated hamlet a 2-month journey by yak to the nearest city, are hibernating in a bullet-ridden bunker in a heated conflict zone, or their well-cushioned buttocks are resting on the plush of a government-funded, headquarters chair with the title “top dog” inscribed on it, or their thumb & forefinger hold taut a simmering cigar while smoke billows from their nostrils, each of which is carefully pressed against a 700-page thesis on the refugee crisis during the Prussian War, their latest academic endeavor.
About the Founder
Shannon has worked several years for the UN – in Africa, Asia, & Europe. Often working in isolated locations, she has found that she & her colleagues often seek greater connectedness with family & friends online. Yet, while friends & family can be our greatest support network, they often do not understand the depth of our experience as aid workers, the challenges, the sacrifices, or the traumas & the pains that surface. Following her survival of a violent attack & the limited organizational support that ensued, she knew a site was critical to provide staff with the support otherwise lacking.
Shannon hopes this site & forum provide:
- for all visitors: a space to become more informed about aid work, to help alleviate stress that arises in the field & to smoothen transitions to new locations; and
- for those who have been traumatized: the comfort of knowing they are not alone as well as the resources to better cope with their emotional healing.