Divya

Seeds of Peace Fellow, 2019

IMPACT: SOCIAL

Changing the narrative around the practitioners and recipients of humanitarian aid.

Challenge

The voices of unaccompanied refugee youth are not heard in the political and professional discourse, and sympathies tend to lie with the younger children, and not the older teens.

Solution

Publish stories that share the perspective of these youth, highlighting the effects of forced migration, and building a more comprehensive understanding of their plight and empathy for their experience.


Divya is currently a doctoral student at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, in the Department of International Health. She is in the department’s Social and Behavioral Interventions’ program, and for her doctoral thesis, she studies the role of child protection programs on unaccompanied refugee minors’ transition into adulthood in Greece, in partnership with the University of Aegean’s Anthropology Department.

She first volunteered at Moria, a refugee camp on Lesbos island during summer 2016 and January 2017. She worked on a scabies project at a camp on Samos island in the summer of 2017. And most recently, she conducted thesis-related fieldwork in Athens during the summer and fall of 2018. With each experience Divya has maintained her goal of focusing on unaccompanied minors, their journey, their aspirations, their hopes, and their fears.

Divya is also a Fellow for the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, where she is producing a series of media stories based on her dissertation research, works part time as a Research Assistant for the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health, and is a Teaching Assistant for masters students who take courses in the John Hopkins Humanitarian Assistance concentration.

“I have the opportunity to see how current and future humanitarian practitioners view their work differently from the displaced people who rely on their services.”