Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Best Event So Far

The most enjoyable event of CSW for me thus far was "People on the Move," which was hosted by the Christian World Service. As a non-christian, I was a little skeptical about the perspective of the event, but I had some familiarity with the work Christian World Service does as a resettlement organization in Raleigh NC, and was excited by the listed speakers which included representatives from UNICEF- USA, The Hunger Project, a Feminist Filmmaker, in addition to CSW project managers. So after a long day I dragged myself to the basement of the Armenian Center to participate in this event, and it was so worth it.

The event grabbed my attention immediately by showing a film trailer from Isabella Alexander, called "The Burning," which conveyed the dangerous undocumented crossing process from Northern Africa into Europe. Having worked refugee boat landings on a different border of the European Union, the Greek island of Lesvos, I connected a lot with the imagery in the film of overcrowded haphazard dinghies.

Once the panel began, we discussed what these major organizations do to place humanity back in not only the border crossing process but in the places where most migrants inevitably become trapped for year.At one point we discussed the decision organizations makes to pull out of countries. It was interesting to hear the Hunger Project representative discus meeting sustainability goals with partner organizations prior to "leaving" a country. As someone who was in Greece when Save the Children pulled out of Greece and witnessed the chaos and uncertainty in that wake, I asked about the decision to leave in and of itself and all the panelists came into discuss the decision weighing process of humanitarian aid and crisis response. I felt really included in the conversation on this topic in being both critical and engaged, and I learned a lot from that experience.

After the event, I approached Isabel, told her my experience, exchanged business cards with her, and proposed the idea of bringing "The Burning" film to UNC for a screening and discussion sometime early next school year. It feels great to make a connection at a CSW event that has a tangible step moving forward.

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