From the 7th to the 9th of March 2018, our Master HOPE – Humanitarian Operations in Emergencies students took part to their Field Experience in Brindisi (Italy), at the UNHRD base. The experience was coordinated by the Master’s Director, Lodovico Mariani, along with three trainers from INTERSOS – Davide Berruti, Francesca Matarazzi and Riccardo Vumbaca (former Social Change School fellow, Master PMC – Project Management for International Cooperation, December 2016 edition) – and also accompanied by Master HOPE Coordinator, Susana Ferreira.
They were three very intense days: students stepped into a simulation of a humanitarian emergency, in order to put the knowledge and skills acquired during the course into practice. They had to face a variety of different and challenging situations, collaborating with diverse colleagues and dealing with relevant stakeholders, while implementing a humanitarian response.
According to the students, the Field Experience was a mixture of strong feelings – such as the fear of failure or the anxiety of the unexpected – and the energy and excitement of urgency. In the end, fellows managed to turn those mixed feelings into a valuable lesson learned.
For Marica Ganelli, one of the students taking part in the experience: “It has been an exciting mixture of fear of being unsuitable and incompetent for the situation and the adrenaline of facing new challenges every moment, forcing myself to act with all my skills and cooperating with the rest of the team.”
And in Luca Calvani’s words, another HOPE fellow: “Realistically scary, exciting and in-depth simulation of an urgent humanitarian emergency. A wonderful experience!”
In the end, the Field Experience met the students’ expectations, it helped bring together the knowledge acquired during the Master while putting it into practice and was a very important moment in their learning process.