‘Homework’ in times of quarantine: an update from the headquarters of the Global Campus of Human Rights
As an educational institution, the word “homework” is very familiar to the Global Campus of Human Rights. Being headquartered in Italy we can say that taking care of our homework, and literally from home, is precisely what we are currently doing. And we do it with the full commitment we’ve always shown to our global community.
First: Working from home really works
A few weeks ago the Italian authorities started to issue restrictive measures and recommendations encouraging remote working. We were therefore faced with the urgent matter of reorganising ourselves as a working community. It was not easy to make a decision, but in light of potential developments we first gave all our colleagues the choice to work from home; subsequently, we decided to enact this measure for all of us headquartered in Lido (Venice) as a crucial prevention strategy.
This means that our beloved Monastery is currently closed, but its ‘inhabitants’ are all well and working from home, as wired and engaged as before. Please continue to reach us by e-mail, social media, Skype and through other electronic means. We remain a community at work! It also means that we are exploring ways to either postpone or re-organise the activities we had scheduled for the spring.
Please check our website under the section dedicated to the specific activities and reach out to the relevant contact persons for information and updates. Furthermore, we are keeping a close eye on our regional Master programmes and on our students across the globe who are either studying, working on their thesis or doing their internship. More to come about this.
The current situation, which sees Italy at the forefront, represents an important learning exercise for all of us. We are called to improve our skills in terms of:
- empathy (let’s all get together so that no one, and in particular the most vulnerable, is left behind); - organisation (as a global decentralised network we know the importance of coordination – and how challenging this can be. Now our coordination efforts need to be further boosted at all levels: global, regional, national, and local); - technology (we have already gone far, thanks to the support of our skilled staff members and the development of our e-learning activities connecting people worldwide and meeting their human rights education needs. We are now building on this wealth of experience to do more).
Third: Human rights work can continue at home
As UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said recently “COVID-19 is a test for our societies, and we are all learning and adapting as we respond to the virus. Human dignity and rights need to be front and centre in that effort, not an afterthought." As a small contribution to heed such call, here at the Global Campus we have thought about home-delivery (from our homes to yours!) of human rights pills: short videos, articles, courses and research works that can help us reflecting on crucial themes that are at the core of our expertise. Follow our social media to learn more!