In a time when proposed budget cuts and violence threaten global aid, these memoirs offer a look at the importance of humanitarian efforts.
Chasing Chaos: My Decade In and Out of Humanitarian Aid: Jessica Alexander
“Well, you know, we're human”-Jessica Alexander
In her memoir, Alexander challenges the saint-like perception of humanitarian aid workers. She explores the complex relationship between the professional and personal self within a profession that can be simultaneously heartbreaking and hopeful.
The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL: Eric Greitens
“As warriors, as humanitarians, they've taught me that without courage, compassion falters, and that without compassion, courage has no direction.” -Eric Greitens
Eric Greitens presents his journey as a humanitarian who becomes a Navy Seal. He discusses his notion that to do good is to be strong -- that heart and the fist work better together.
An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian Action in the Twenty-first Century: James Orbinski
“His eyes opened and closed. He shivered under the blanket, and soon he was dead. This was the last violated remnant of a fuller life...What choices led to civil war and famine, leaving hundreds of thousands of people like this man to suffer in this way, at this time, in the last decade of the twentieth century?”-James Orbinki
James Orbinski recalls his time as a practitioner with Doctors Without Borders. His book is considered a must-read for anyone interested in joining the humanitarian aid community.
Chasing Misery: an anthology of essays by women in humanitarian responses: Kelsey Hoppe
“As I get older, I’ve come to believe that anyone can do this “helping” anywhere. In fact, the less glamourous the job—and aid work has its own particular “glamour” associated with it—the more admirable the person who does it.”- Kelsey Hoppe
In an anthology comprised of 21 first-person essays, readers are introduced to the realities of humanitarian aid work. Each essay explores the myriad of challenges workers face and the ways they find hope amongst such misery.
Keeping Hope Alive: One Woman: 90,000 Lives Changed: Hawa Abdi
“Women can build stability. We can make peace.”- Hawa Abdi
Her memoir is the perfect antidote for anyone questioning the ability of one person to make a difference. Because of her decision to offer aid during times of war, tens of thousands of lives have been saved.