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World-leading humanitarian inspires pupils

March 22nd, 2019

One of the world’s leading humanitarians has given a powerful and hard-hitting talk at Monmouth School for Girls, raising almost £300 for a local charity.

Gilbert Greenall spoke about his work as senior adviser to both the UK government and the United Nations on humanitarian emergencies. He has worked on 37 humanitarian emergencies, of which 18 were conflict-related, given evidence to the UK Defence Committee on Afghanistan and spoken at the Royal Society of Medicine on emergency healthcare and welfare of civilians during conflict.

During his presentation, he talked about the response to human catastrophe over four decades, including rescuing refugees from the jungles of Cambodia to the chaos of Baghdad in 2016.

Year 11 student Gina commented on what she found most interesting about the talk. She said: “I was amazed at the hardships he faced and how he overcame them, including surviving a shooting!

‘Also, the strategies he used to find a ‘middle ground’ when working with other humanitarian agencies, which could be challenging. He has been around the world and seen many things and he is an amazing humanitarian.”

Gilbert has also given advice to British military commanders in Northern Iraq, Bosnia, East Timor, Sierra Leone, Macedonia, to the commander of UNIFIL in Southern Lebanon and the deputy commanders in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

After Eton and Sandhurst, Gilbert completed a short service commission in the Life Guards for four years, before obtaining a bilingual English/French MBA.

He qualified in medicine at Bristol and spent years as a senior house officer at Cheltenham General Hospital, while beginning his humanitarian career as a volunteer in the jungles of Cambodia.

He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1993, awarded an honorary doctorate in Medicine by the University of Bristol in 2006 and served as High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 2009–10.

The event was organised as part of the Confidence for Life Programme at Monmouth School for Girls. Speaking about the event, Ms Johnson said: ‘Pupils, staff and people from the local community found the presentation both insightful and inspiring. The special event raised almost £300 for local charity Hands Around the World.’

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