Main Navigation


How Aid Works podcast


Stories from the field

Photo: ICRC

How Aid Works artwork

Meet the people who treat the wounded in war zones, organise shelter after earthquakes and run hospitals during epidemics.

Season two of our How Aid Works podcast is a no-holds-barred look at the lives of Red Cross aid workers. You'll get personal insights, wise advice and brutal honesty. You'll hear stories of despair in a hospital, hope on a battlefield and love in (literally) a time of cholera.

If you've ever donated to an aid agency or wanted to be an aid worker, this is the show for you.

Make sure you don't miss an episode by subscribing to the podcast. You can subscribe to this podcast from any of the popular podcast directories.

Subscribe with iTunes, Stitcher or TuneIn, or listen to individual episodes below.

Congratulations! You're forever a misfit

The mission's over. Time to catch up with your mates and a season's worth of Game of Thrones. Except that people treat you differently after you've worked in an Ebola zone. And you'll never watch the news in the same way again. Aid work leaves its unique stamp on you.

Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn

Download transcript

Advice to my younger self

Learn to manage risk, because someone will shoot at you. Stop being so damn idealistic. Sit back and listen. There are no heroes, least of all you. Our guests share advice they wish they'd heard when they started their careers in aid work.

Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn

Download transcript

Equifinality

What could possibly go wrong on a relief mission? Well… border disputes, power outages, strikes, random epidemics, natural disasters, insurgencies, rains shutting down roads and governments being overthrown. You'll see why aid work needs an indomitable spirit.

Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn

Download transcript

Love in the hot zone

Listen up, Humanitarians of Tinder! It can be hard to maintain relationships with family, let alone find love, when you're going from mission to mission in high-security zones. We talk honestly about the birds, the bees and the precautions.

Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn

Download transcript

A water stop in an apocalypse

How do you feel watching families flee in an apocalyptic sea of people? How do you cope with an Ebola nightmare sweeping before your eyes? And what passes through your mind when you witness an exploding donkey amid drought and violence?

Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn

Download transcript

The coffin on the bus and other tales of horror

Sometimes you're faced with a carful of corpses. Sometimes you have to drive the body of a bomb victim home to her parents. Sometimes you have to treat an illness so contagious that other doctors have already died. We discover what it's like to be an emergency health worker… and why you should always pack a scarf in your travel bag.

Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn

Download transcript

4 minutes to save the world

Every minute is a matter of life or death when a disaster strikes or a conflict breaks out. Aid workers are in a race against time: whether to treat the ill and injured before it's too late or get relief supplies to inaccessible locations. Our guests explain how order emerges from chaos.

Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn

Download transcript

A week of terror and inadequacy

This week we look at your very first mission as an aid worker: whether it's Pakistan after an earthquake, a refugee camp in South Sudan or a tiny Tongan island. We reflect on how expectation differs from reality and how you see the world afterwards.

Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn

Download transcript

Earthquake, War, Famine, Flood … Interested?

It's a job you can't wait to leave and can't wait to return to. We look at how to break into the field of humanitarian aid work, with an honest assessment of how to survive this terrifying, frustrating, addictive job.

Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn

 

How Aid Works artwork

Have you only just discovered this podcast? Feel free to check out our first season.

How do you stop an epidemic that's killed the local doctors? How do you solve a problem like 80,000 refugees and no toilets? Season one of How Aid Works takes you inside the crises that made the news, and the ones that didn't.

Listen to season one here

 

Inspired? Kick-start your own humanitarian career with our training courses.