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Celebrating NOHA and our collaboration with the Network in Poland

As the Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA) celebrated its 30th anniversary on the 20th of December, we acknowledge our developing cooperation with the Network in Poland.

Our connection with NOHA started earlier this year with two NOHA students and one programme graduate attending the Humanitarian Operations Programme (HOP) training in Krakow provided by the HLA. This programme covers essential topics such as rapid needs assessments, proposal writing, conflict sensitivity programming, safeguarding in emergencies, and wellbeing in emergencies, delivered through interactive face-to-face workshops and desk-based scenario.

In November, Katarzyna Bryczhkowska, our Learning Solutions Specialist in Poland, together with Marta Lewandowska-Wroz, HR director of Save the Children Poland Country Office, conducted a Sphere Standards workshop at Warsaw University, which was attended by students of humanitarian post-graduate studies.

The HLA representatives amongst attendees of the NOHA anniversary at the Warsaw University

This autumn, one of the NOHA International Humanitarian Action Master’s programme students became a volunteer at the HLA Eastern Europe Regional Centre. David shares his experience:

Providing training for people who help others is the most sustainable work I can think of. Volunteering for the HLA gives me an opportunity to develop my teaching skills and learn more about enabling individuals to engage with material on a more sophisticated level. This team is very international, professional, and approachable. During the first weeks, I experienced a pleasant balance of being introduced to those aspects that interest me while being given tasks that would allow me to take ownership. Due to my engagement in my studies, I have limited time, which means that I have to plan my week accordingly. Due to working mostly remotely, I have the freedom to schedule my tasks freely while staying in close contact with my coordinator and colleagues. It is a rewarding experience that will help me with any tasks that I have to accomplish in the future.
David Salewski, NOHA International Humanitarian Action Master’s programme student, volunteer at the HLA

The 30th Anniversary of NOHA was celebrated at the University of Warsaw (UW), simultaneously marking the 15th year of collaboration between the programme and the UW. To celebrate this milestone, the major humanitarian actors active in Poland, such as Polish Humanitarian Action, Polish Centre for International Aid, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Save the Children together with Humanitarian Leadership Academy and more, took part in several panel discussions such as Protection and Assistance to Refugees, IDPs and other migrants; Many Faces of Vulnerability, and International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement Perspective. The event also provided a great opportunity for the students, professors, and other participants to build new connections and discuss the most pressing issues related to humanitarian action.

Speaking at the panel discussion «Many faces of vulnerability», Celina Kretkowska-Adamowicz, Director of Programme Operations at Save the Children Poland, focused on the organisation’s activities in the child protection, education and cash assistance sectors. Celina highlighted the focus on localisation and addressed students’ questions about a professional career in the humanitarian field. In terms of the challenges that Poland is facing with regard to migration policy, she highlighted the importance of a systematic approach:

We have to work on emergency and contingency planning, especially in the situation where there is no migration policy in place. NGOs provide services and programmes that should be implemented by public institutions. Our work as international organization is to advocate and insist on introducing systematic and proper policy.
Celina Kretkowska-Adamowicz, Director of Programme Operations at Save the Children Poland

The NOHA programme and the HLA share the ambition to form a new generation of humanitarians and support local humanitarian leaders. This collaboration marks a crucial step forward in advancing the capabilities of humanitarian professionals. By joining forces, our institutions bring together respective strengths in education, training and real-time application, fostering a dynamic environment for the development of innovative solutions to complex humanitarian challenges.

The collaboration between Save the Children and the NOHA University Programme provides aspiring humanitarians with a unique opportunity to gain insights into real professional life. Through exposure to response leaders, project leads, and the wider humanitarian ecosystem, future humanitarian leaders can bridge the gap between theory and practice, fostering a more profound understanding of the complexities they may encounter in the field. By offering a glimpse into the daily challenges humanitarian professionals face, this collaboration empowers the next generation of humanitarians to develop the adaptability and resourcefulness necessary for effective and impactful service in the field. The NOHA University Programme, renowned for its excellence in humanitarian education, complements the HLA’s commitment to leadership development within the humanitarian sector. In this way, we aim to contribute to building a more resilient and responsive humanitarian workforce globally.
Kamila Wujec, HLA’s Eastern Europe Regional Lead

The collaboration between the HLA and NOHA is a testament to the collective commitment to improving humanitarian response outcomes through education and partnership.

We appreciate the support of this promising relationship by Elżbieta Mikos-Skuza, the Director of NOHA Studies at Warsaw University, and will start the new year by delivering another Sphere Standards workshop for NOHA students together with Save the Children Poland in January.


Eastern Europe Poland

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