Samuel is originally from the United States but he is currently living in France. He worked for five years in community development and capacity-building efforts in Panama before returning to school to pursue a master’s degree in human rights and humanitarian action.


Hello Samuel! How did you hear about the e-learning platform Kaya, and which courses did you take?

I discovered Kaya through the Reliefweb website and I have been using the platform for one month. I took the PMD Pro: Project Management course. I found it extremely useful to develop my understanding of the project management body of knowledge and prepare me for certification. I plan on taking the other courses offered by PMD Pro soon.

Did the course have an impact on your career?

I have only recently completed the course, however, I have already registered to become project management certified through PM4NGOs and believe that this will have a large impact on my career.

Everyone has a different understanding of the word “humanitarian”. What does being a humanitarian mean to you?

Humanitarian, to me, is a field where practitioners work to improve the lives of our fellow humans. Activities can range from immediate relief to crisis situations, to developing the capacity of local actors to achieve long-term impacts. However, the end result is always about working together towards a better world for everyone.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the way you learn?

As a student, all of my classes have gone online. While this has been a challenge in some ways, it also has introduced me to the vast potential of online learning and inspired me to search for more opportunities offered by organisations like the Humanitarian Leadership Academy.

What would you say are the greatest challenges surrounding humanitarian learning today?

Accessibility. Many of the learning opportunities available to practitioners at all level are restricted due to geographic or monetary restraints. These restrictions have created an exclusive system where work in the humanitarian field is only accessible to those with the money, time and freedom to access the educational opportunities necessary to find work and be effective.

What can organisations like the Academy do to support the sector to overcome these challenges?

I believe that the Academy can continue to support the sector by providing more and diverse courses in collaboration with institutional partners. The democratisation of information is vital to making advancements in this sector. Maybe work with international NGOs and institutions to raise awareness about your work to ensure that certificates issued by the Academy gain broad recognition.

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