China: Experience humanitarian work in a simulated war zone

20 March 2018
China: Experience humanitarian work in a simulated war zone
Martin, HR responsible at ICRC Beijing Delegation, is introducing the outline and the content of the simulation workshop to the participants. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Nina ZHOU

Ever wondered what it would be like working as a humanitarian professional in a war zone? In early February, thirty students from Hong Kong's University of Science and Technology were given this unique opportunity as they participated in a simulation workshop organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

ICRC has created the workshop for people interested in working in the humanitarian field, as a unique opportunity to experience some of the key issues and challenges faced by ICRC staff during fieldwork.

Martin and Jason, facilitators from ICRC are trying to explain to students of HKUST the task to do, and the real scenarios to work in ICRC on the field during group work. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Nina ZHOU

As part of ICRC's employment outreach in the region, this workshop was the first Working for the ICRC workshop in Asia, where students experienced simulations on a number of situations facing humanitarian workers.

Experienced ICRC staff gave presentations, hosted discussions and guided participants through role-play exercises designed to simulate situations in which ICRC international field staff are frequently confronted with. The students were asked to act out three realistic field scenarios dealing with the issues of public communication, negotiations and managing rapidly developing situations.

One participant said of the event, "The whole workshop is very thought-provoking, we have got a more concrete understanding about the work of the ICRC. More importantly for me, I gained more insights and suggestions on developing a career on humanitarian work."

Student from HKUST playing the role of ICRC is introducing the background of the topic they are working at, and their team members to the other groups. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Nina ZHOU

Martin Unternaehrer, responsible for HR Marketing at the ICRC Delegation for East Asia, in Beijing said, "The workshop is designed to help future candidates better understand the different skills and professional experience ICRC is seeking, also the practical issues to take into consideration for subsequent field deployment with the ICRC, as well as the ICRC application process."

The ICRC has offered the workshop in Europe for almost ten years and is considering bringing it to Beijing. "ICRC is eager to have more Chinese nationals among our international staff," said Mr. Unternaehrer, "these workshops help people to consider if a career with the ICRC is something they would like to work towards."