Join us for our SHSK Society Talk in March with Old Girl, Sarah Grey
'Working to limit the effects of war: A conversation about life and work as a delegate at the International Committee of the Red Cross'
2003 leaver, Sarah Grey is a delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – a neutral, impartial, and independent humanitarian organisation. The ICRC is mandated by the international community to act as the guardian of international humanitarian law – the set of rules which seek, for humanitarian reasons, to limit the effects of armed conflict. The organisation acts in response to armed conflict to ensure humanitarian protection – working to ensure that those fighting uphold their obligations to protect the lives and dignity of those who are not involved in the fighting and to prevent or stop violations of the law – and to assist people affected.
Sarah has worked with the ICRC since 2013 in Libya, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Geneva, and the West Bank. Much of her work has centred on understanding the problems faced by civilians during conflict and building and maintaining dialogue with the authorities, armies, and armed groups involved, as well as the communities affected, to improve the situation for civilians. She has also visited prisons where people are detained in relation to conflict and supported family members to find, contact, and sometimes reunite with relatives from whom they were separated as a result of conflict. She currently manages a team of 20+ working in the three ICRC offices in the northern West Bank – in the Palestinian cities of Nablus, Jenin, and Tulkarem.
Sarah came to the ICRC after learning about its work while living in the UAE, where she was working on academic and policy-related research on gender, development, and climate change in the Middle East but also closely observing events around the region at the time – especially the beginning of the conflict in Syria, where she spent a year as an undergraduate studying Arabic. Only able to watch the trauma unfold from a distance, she decided to seek out work that would allow her to be part of the efforts to accompany and support people at risk when the worst happens and war breaks out.
Sarah speaks Arabic and French as well as some Hebrew and a little Farsi. (She is the only St Helen’s student she knows of who went to university to study Arabic but would be very happy to hear of others!)
Sarah's photo as seen in the event listing was taken under an olive tree during last year's olive harvest season!
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