Coastal Promise Field Simulation Ends 3/18/18; Emphasis on Responding to Human Need

The Coastal Promise Field Simulation ended yesterday, Sunday, March 18, 2018.  The event began on Thursday, March 15.  The full immersion field simulation replicates conditions that NGO workers face in the field when humanitarian tragedy strikes and peacebuilding responses are needed.   This year’s program was set in the fictitious country of  “Costero.”  The event was sponsored by the Forage Center for Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Education, Inc.

Responding to local needs
Responding to local needs

This program was designed for students in graduate programs in the U.S. and overseas.  Though many students were in peacebuilding related academics areas, students also attended from global health and sustainability programs. Attending students came from Drexel University, George Mason University, Gaia University, University of Alabama/Birmingham, New York University, Creighton University, Georgetown University, Brescia University, and American University.   Forage Center staff role played and supported the logistical aspects of the program.   As in the past, returning graduates of the program played the role of controller/evaluators (CEs) – mentors – to new students.  CEs came from George Mason University, University of North Carolina/Greensboro, and Tulane University.   In addition, role players from the local Fellsmere, Sebastian, and Vero, Florida communities participated including students from Indian River Charter High School and Sebastian River High School.

Arriving in Costero
Setting up an IDP camp
Setting up an IDP camp

The overall objectives of the simulation were to expose aspiring professionals to conditions and requirements for working in complex emergencies, both in global and domestic contexts.  Students developed awareness of cultural differences, developed team building strategies, engaged in extensive analysis and planning, and responded to local needs as part of the exercise.

Dealing with trauma
Dealing with trauma

The Forage Center is appreciative of all who supported the program including Operation Hope of Central Florida and the City of Fellsmere (FL).

The flag of Costero
The flag of Costero
Security crisis: bomb threat
Field teaching
Teaching negotiations

The Forage Center will soon announce the dates and location for the November 2018 exercise.  If you are interested in attending, please contact  The Forage Center will also offer a program in May 2018 at La Roche College in Pittsburgh, PA.  Contact the Forage Center ( if you are interested in attending.

Coastal Promise 2018.jpg
Coastal Promise March 2018

Published by David J. Smith

I am a career coach, consultant, and head of a not for profit - the Forage Center - that offers humanitarian education training. I also teach at George Mason University and Drexel University. A one time lawyer, I spent many years teaching in a community college where I was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar teaching in Estonia. I'm the author of Peace Jobs: A Student's Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace (IAP 2016). I've been married to my best friend for over 31 years and we have two well adjusted adult children who teach me something new everyday. I live in Rockville, Maryland.

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