From Braille Without Borders and Unite for Sight, to Geekcorps and PeaceWorks, humanitarian groups are working worldwide largely in undeveloped countries to better the lives of the residents. Whether they are empowering people with schools for the blind, prosthetic limbs, the devices to understand and use technology, or the information to work for civil peace, the men and women of these agencies offer tremendous talent to their causes, great dedication and, sometimes, even risk their lives to complete their missions. Working in war or civil war zones, humanitarians with nonprofits, non-governmental agencies, and university-connected centers and foundations have been injured, kidnapped, or killed. Now terrorist events and war crimes are more and more often bringing these self-sacrificing workers into the national spotlight by media headlines. Their work is, doubtless, remarkable. And so too are the stories of how they developed – including the defining moments when their founders felt they could no longer stand by and do nothing. In this set of books, founders and top officials from humanitarian organizations established in the last 50 years spotlight how and why they began their organizations, what their greatest victories and challenges have been, and how they run the organizations, down to where they get their funding and how they spend it to grow the group and its efforts. Led by Chris E. Stout, named Humanitarian of the Year by the American Psychological Association, the contributors here come from across training disciplines including psychology, medicine, technology, science, politics, social work, and business.
Stout, who has worked in Latin American terrorist zones, in Vietnam, and along the Amazon in Ecuador with Flying Doctors of America, has chosen to feature a sample of humanitarian groups across four primary areas – medicine, environment, education, and social justice. He also concentrates on what he calls guerilla humanitarians – those who step into unsafe or unhealthy conditions despite the dangers. There is also a concentration on those that have been very successful with on-the-ground-guerilla-innovations without a lot of bureaucracy or baloney. Above all, They are rebels with a cause whose actions speak louder than mere words, Stout explains. They have all felt a moral duty to serve as vectors of change. In addition to being psychologically insightful, these volumes hold invaluable practical information.