Forage Center News
How ONE Humanitarian Experience Unlocked Surprising Doors
11/28/23, 4:45 PM
2023 Paul Forage Fellow Josh Price shares how the Forage Center has helped his humanitarianism journey
The experience that I had at the humanitarian aid simulation back with the Forage Center in summer 2022 was a story that has always been a joy to tell. Like an onion, there are so many layers of learning opportunities I have constantly pulled from that experience that will stick with me for the rest of my life. In the imaginary country designated as Costero, staged in Garrett County, Maryland, I had the privilege of executing a series of peacebuilding operations, needs assessments, collaboration, and negotiation techniques with a wide range of hypothetical stakeholders, including national and international governmental organizations. This enabled me to gain further exposure on the ethics, laws, and principles influencing humanitarianism and broader peacebuilding complexities and efforts.
Before getting involved, I never thought engaging in humanitarian work would enable me to gain exposure and more definitively understand the underlying issues that affect populations across the world. Because of my faith, I have a strong passion to go into missionary work sometime soon where I can use many of the experiences from this simulation and the continuous research that I’ve done in the humanitarian space to influence how I am able to pinpoint issues directly and address the needs within certain communities. Through exploring humanitarianism, I have realized the importance of genuine compassion towards the people that you serve. Going through this experience emphasized that the assessment and operation of humanitarianism cannot outmatch the love and care that comes from understanding the value of humanity.
Overall, this experience exposed many unpredictable moments of strengths and weaknesses. I appreciated the challenge of responding to situations such as communicating with people of other languages, working with stakeholders who are limited in their ability to collaborate or provide enough resources, dealing with unexpected occurrences like getting hit with a significant swarm of ticks, and enduring a severe thunderstorm that rapidly hit our camp. Moreover, I had to endure much of this while bearing a sickness. Candidly, what kept me going despite my health was the importance of the work and the desire to learn. These moments exposed the value of the role that each individual plays in this work.
The more I share this experience the better I get at explaining it. Indeed, the more I reflect, the more I discover things that I didn’t recount since its occurrence. I encourage anyone interested in exploring humanitarianism to engage with our partners within the Forage Center and consider an experience with us if you are interested in this work or have a desire to understand underlying issues in our communities across the globe. Especially for someone like me whose had very limited exposure to international communities being that my family didn’t have the financial means to travel exponentially over the years, there are many out there who don’t have an awareness of the societal and natural disasters facing populations across the globe. Aspiring this work gives me the opportunity to have broader exposure to the world and use the gifts and grace that God has given me to make a significant contribution to others as the humble servant that God ordained me to be!