Earthquakes, oppression, floods and famine are just some of the targets of the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network, an initiative to educate undergraduates at Jesuit-run universities about the humanitarian crises such disasters cause and how best to respond to them. The initiative was formed as a result of discussions among Jesuits about students’ enthusiasm for humanitarian efforts and the fact that such enthusiasm needs direction. “We felt that young people’s passion for helping people wasn’t being well-channeled. They would raise money to buy blankets or something and send them down to a crisis center, but it was an unsophisticated approach,” said Rick Ryscavage, S.J., director of Fairfield University’s Center for Faith and Public Life. The network intends to create an integrated curriculum in Jesuit schools world-wide to prepare undergraduates for careers in humanitarian work.
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