Podcast

033 - World Refugee Day with Aaron Skonnard and Jan Egeland

June 16, 2020

To mark World Refugee Day on June 20th, Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard chats with Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). They talk about Pluralsight One’s partnership with the NRC and the important role of technology skills in helping the 80 million refugees and displaced people around the world.

Please visit NRC.no and consider becoming a friend of the NRC.


If you enjoy this episode, please consider leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.

Please send any questions or comments to [email protected].

Transcript

00:00:00.0 Daniel Blaser

Hello and welcome to All Hands on Tech, where today's leaders talk tomorrow's technology. I'm Daniel Blaser. 

Today's episode is a special one. To mark World Refugee Day on June 20th, Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard sat down with Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council. Among other things, they talk about Pluralsight One's partnership with the NRC and the important role of technology skills in helping the 80 million refugees and displaced people around the world.

00:00:37.5 Aaron Skonnard

I'm speaking here today with Jan Egeland, who's been the Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council since August of 2013, where he leads the humanitarian organization's work across 30 countries affected by conflict and disaster, with a team of 14,000 directly serving more than 8.5 million people around the world who have been forced to flee their countries. 

Between 2015 and 2018, he also served as Special Advisor to the UN Special Envoy for Syria, a role he was appointed to by former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Within this position, he chaired the humanitarian task force responsible for the safety and protection of Syrian civilians. Jan has served in several impressive roles, including UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, UN Secretary-General Special Advisor on Colombia, State Secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Secretary General of the Norwegian Red Cross, and multiple leading positions at Amnesty International. 

In these roles, Jan has helped to reform the global humanitarian response system. He's led diplomacy efforts between armed groups and the government, and I know he has many stories to tell about that. He organized the international response to the Asian tsunami and crises from Darfur to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and even Lebanon. In 2006, Time Magazine named Jan Egeland one of the 100 people who helped shape our world. 

Jan, thank you for joining us today, and for all the incredible impact you're having around the world. We really appreciate you.

00:02:25.2 Jan Egeland

Thank you. Thank you for being together again, Aaron. Last time I saw you, I left you behind with your wife, Monica, in eastern Colombia with our local colleagues there, and I went on foot crossing the bridge into Venezuela. This was in mid-March and just as the Corona pandemic was hitting the Northern Hemisphere. I was then, the next few days, around in Venezuela with NRC, just like in Colombia, it’s scaling up work in very difficult conditions, really. Now, we've been stuck in Oslo for a while, quarantined here, where we are again scaling up work worldwide.

00:03:14.7 Aaron Skonnard

It's great to see you and I'm so happy to see that you're healthy, and the organization is healthy and staying strong through all this. This virus has surprised all of us. It's really turned into an incredible global moment for the world and, when we were together in Colombia, it was just starting. It was just forming. Both of us weren't sure what this was going to mean. A bit later in the conversation, I want to come back to COVID but first I'd like you to just start... I mean, you've had quite the career. Just listing all the different roles you've played and the countries you've been involved in is just so impressive. When we were together you were able to share so many stories with me that really gave me a deeper sense for what this is like, but just give our audience a sense for what your career has been like for you. How would you just summarize all these years of humanitarian work and just give people a sense for what that's like?

00:04:16.7 Jan Egeland

I've been very privileged. Since I formed an Amnesty International Group in my high school at the age of 16, I wanted to travel the world and work on the biggest issues, where we see injustice, where we see struggles for good, and join those big efforts. Perhaps I was a little bit bored in Norway, which is a very privileged place. I wanted to be there, where the big dramas are, and the needs are the greatest. 

Through the Red Cross, human rights organizations, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, and now the Norwegian Refugee Council I have been able to really see and join efforts that have succeeded. I think, perhaps, my main message after all of these years, more than 40... Believe it or not, it's 43-44 years ago that I went to Colombia the first time and worked with an Indian tribe in the jungle, at the age of 18-19. In all these years always, I've felt it's not hopeless. We can do incredible things. We can help proud, dignified people with enormous resources to get out of their vicious cycle, as we have in Colombia many, many times. 

It's not us helping, it's them helping themselves with our investment for them to realize themselves. Certainly, the tech sector, and our partnership with Pluralsight, is helping us here because people with enormous potential, refugees, are like you and me. They have the same potential, but they have had a very rotten deal. They had to flee their home, for heaven’s sake. They saw everything that was... their clothes go up in flames. Now they need help to restart, reboot if you like, and that's what we can do and that's where we need help.

00:06:36.6 Aaron Skonnard

That's awesome. When I was there with you, it was abundantly clear to me how comfortable you were in that environment, with those amazing people. They are incredible people, and resilient, and strong, and they just need a little help to get back on a path. You mentioned our partnership. Let's talk a little bit about that here, up front. Can you describe, in your words, what this partnership means to you? Just give a few details around what it is, and then I'll provide the Pluralsight perspective as well.

00:07:11.8 Jan Egeland

Not to flatter you, Aaron, that I say that, for us, the Pluralsight partnership is very important. We're a big organization. We are, you said 14,000, I think the latest count is that we're now 15,000 colleagues who stay and deliver in the field. We had nearly 15,000 before the Coronavirus pandemic hit. We've had all of those people throughout this crisis up until this point, and we now have more than 15,000 colleagues serving nine million or more displaced people. 

The Pluralsight partnership is, really, one in which we have some predictability in having a friend and a partner that gives us some unconditional cash. That means that we can help people where the needs are greatest and where we do not have earmarked funding already. Perhaps even more importantly, you have given us software products that we would have had to pay from the resources we don't really have, to increase our effectiveness. Now we could: number one; free some funding from a core budget to help the refugees and, secondly; we could upgrade the whole training of our whole staff. We want to be a knowledge-based organization, learning from all that we've done and learning from the experience from others. That's the two things. You've helped us become a better organization, both through funding or, perhaps even more, with the strategic partnership to make us better.

00:09:05.4 Aaron Skonnard

We're honored to be able to help. We're so impressed with your organization, and the reach that you have, and the commitment that you have to helping those people who are most in need around the world. We believe in systemic change and building partnerships that really last and can have meaningful change over multiple years. Our multi-year partnership is really structured to help the NRC digitally transform itself, which is what you were just speaking to. Then, also, we're really looking forward to the opportunities to allow you to take Pluralsight into the refugee camps and help your beneficiaries develop these tech skills as a pathway into a better future. I know we've been experimenting with that in Syria, and a few other places, so I'm really hopeful that that can drive some meaningful opportunity for the people you serve.

00:10:03.8 Jan Egeland

We need to be better. We can be better. We need to be better. The reason we are successful, we now have 40 countries and international institutions supporting us. We are, I think, we're 300 Norwegians in the Norwegian Refugee Council and then nearly 15,000 others from other nationalities. Meaning that, in Afghanistan where we have 1,200 humanitarian workers on the ground at the moment, and the pandemic is becoming much worse, now, in Afghanistan than it is in Norway - or even in the United States, where you have a real problem. In Afghanistan, these 1,200 colleagues are 1,180 Afghans working in their own country. Which means that we train, we empower, we say, "You're in charge of our work in your country, for your fellow Afghan people in great need". They then need online training. We need remote contact. We work like this in Afghanistan too. Much is online now. At the same time as we are going with cars, and vehicles, and motorbikes, and bicycles, into these places where the displaced congregate, where we do safe programming during Covid-19. The Afghan young displaced, or the Somali young displaced, their parents may have been herdsmen, having a few goats and some livestock. They want to be computer engineers, basically. They can become and that's where you help us in helping them to take this transformational step. They are better than me, more high-tech than me, an old man, because we can put this technology, cheaply, at their availability.

00:12:22.4 Aaron Skonnard

Yeah. I love the vision, and I know it's possible, and I think this partnership will last for decades and be one that really produces pathways for these people. Let's zoom out for a second and just talk about the NRC's mission and these people you serve. I really want to give the audience a sense for what this looks like. Talk to us a little bit about what a refugee is. We also have these people that are internally displaced, I think you call them IDPs. Maybe just talk a little bit about the actual people, the scenarios, and what are the ranges of experiences that these people have when they come seeking help from you?

00:13:04.3 Jan Egeland

We're broadcasting this now on World Refugee Day, where we try to focus on the plight of refugees and displaced people. This is a very important group because they are in great need and we, as fellow human beings, we have an obligation, but also a self-interest, in helping them and avoiding living in a world with a lot of instability and a lot of suffering. The number, now, of refugees and internally displaced people is nearly 80 million. 80 million, it's twelve, thirteen, fourteen times the population of Norway. It's 20, 30 times the population of Utah. Imagine you depopulate 15 United States, all of the Scandinavian countries. That's the number of people who had to flee from everything they have held dear because of violence, conflict, armed men. About 30 million of these, more than 30 million of these, are refugees who cross a border. 

Norwegians fled Sweden during the Second World War, when Nazi Germany occupied Norway. They became refugees in Sweden. Syrians going to Turkey are refugees. Those who stay within their own country, they could flee from Aleppo to Idlib in Syria. My father fled from Oslo to the west coast during the Second World War. He was a student; the Nazis were after them. These internally displaced people are also refugees, but they don't have the same international status. They haven't crossed a border. The number of internally displaced is 45 million... about 35, or so, million refugees. You get 80 million altogether. It's a tremendous number and, of course, it is a really bad scorecard for international diplomacy, international relations, because we're not ending these wars. We're not protecting civilians.

00:15:45.1 Aaron Skonnard

I think people lose sight of the IDPs because they're just not talked about as much. When I was with you in Colombia, I was very familiar with the Venezuelans crossing the border into Colombia. Hence, the refugees. There are the refugees in Colombia from Venezuela, but there's just as many IDPs, inside of Colombia, that have been displaced from their hometowns and all of that creates a very complex situation.

00:16:13.3 Jan Egeland

Yes, it has. The number of internally displaced people because of the wars of Colombia, which is part of your American Hemisphere, is more than five million. Five million, it's population of my country, are internally displaced within Colombia. Many of them have fled from the countryside, where there have been two, three, guerilla forces and lots of paramilitary, right-wing organizations that have gone after defenseless civilians. Many want to depopulate the areas, actually, to grow coca or drugs in these areas. My colleagues are helping these people with school for the children, with shelter, emergency housing, with water and sanitation. We help with legal aid. For example, we help people so that they can get papers on the house, land, and property that they had to flee from, so that they can one day either get it back or get compensation for what they have lost. We also help people with livelihoods that need to get a job. Of course, here the tech side is so important, both for education, vocational training, and livelihood, so we can break the vicious cycle of dependency.

00:17:40.9 Aaron Skonnard

So, even though you're called the "Norwegian Refugee Council", you're committed to the IDPs as well; any individual family who's been disrupted and needs that immediate help to get their trajectory re-established. Is that correct?

00:18:03.1 Jan Egeland

The Norwegian Refugee Council was created after the Second World War because Norwegians wanted to help Europeans who are refugees. There were 11 million refugees in Europe after the Second World War. America was the main funder of humanitarian relief in Europe at the time. Norwegians have not, to the same degree, seen their country destroyed. We had parts of the country destroyed and then it's, "OK, well, we're poor but we still have a little bit of extra resources. We want to help people in Europe, including Germans". There's also this solidarity with the civilians in Germany-occupied Norway. We didn't have this, they're civilians. "Europe Aid" was the original name. Little by little, we saw that most of the problems were not in Europe, they were elsewhere. We became a Refugee Council and now we're actually a Displacement Organization. We want to help people return home, settle where they are, or be relocated to a third place. These are the three ways of getting out of displacement and that's how we help.

00:19:22.7 Aaron Skonnard

Yeah. So, talk a little bit about those different solutions you provide, for those different experiences. When I was in Colombia I saw, with my own eyes, thousands of people walking across the bridge with everything they owned on their back. Then they show up into Colombia, on the other side of that bridge, and they don't know what to do. They're met warmly by the NRC and this is so impressive to see just that need, and just how quickly you're able to meet those people and then give them a sense for what's possible and what to do next. Just talk through what are the different services you provide and how do you help those individuals?

00:20:06.6 Jan Egeland

Here's a good example; the Venezuelan-Colombian border is one of the largest dramas in the Western Hemisphere, in the Americas really. When we were there, people are still, as you saw, streaming over in the thousands from the collapse of Venezuela. Hunger in Venezuela. No services. No hope there. They are met by our people and they are getting the first shower in three weeks. They get drinking water. They get some emergency relief and we also take care of the children. We have child-friendly spaces. We see to it that women are protected, there's a lot of gender-based violence going on. 

Later on, we help those who settle in Colombia into school, children to school. We train youth so that they can get a livelihood. We also provide legal aid so that they can get out of the dependency. They can get the papers on their situation so that they can get a better life in Colombia. I'm telling you, since we were there, and you may not know this Aaron, things changed. Because of the lockdown in Colombia, there is zero possibilities to survive on the daily wages that they sought when they came from Venezuela and we have too little resources to give them job opportunities and so on. We can only give a minority that. 

Many are now going back to Venezuela. It turned. It's going back, for many, to the misery that they fled. So bad is the situation for the Venezuelans. Now we're receiving them and giving them their first shower for two weeks, walking back in Venezuela. We're now providing food, for example, school feeding for children. That's one of the possible ways of getting children to come to school, and their families to prioritize to go to school. That they get one meal a day there. We also, now, try to have some livelihood creation in Venezuela, where we work with the government is difficult, to put it mildly. We have been able to negotiate an ability to work there, as we have in Iran, in Syria, in the Congo, and Somalia, and many of the worst areas on the planet, in terms of terror, war, insecurity.

00:22:54.5 Aaron Skonnard

I'll never forget sitting there, in one of those schools that you run for the refugees in Colombia, and just seeing how happy those children were. To be back in school, to be learning, to be progressing again. It was just such a special moment for me to be able to see, in this moment of crisis, the good work your organization is doing to provide that. Even though, for some of them, they're going to have to go back. Some of them will move on and they'll settle and find a better path forward. 

I'd like to talk about that next, the realities of that. Because, in the tech industry, I think, one of the common misconceptions that many of us have is that, "Oh, there's plenty of work" because we see it. We see all these jobs that are open, and they can't be filled because people don't have the skills. We just see this surplus of opportunity and we live in this world of endless opportunity, but the reality is very different. I don't think, for most people, they see that opportunity as realistic for them. There are real barriers in the way. 

I'd just like to talk, a little bit, about how are you thinking about creating those pathways for people, giving them the education they need to break through and get access to the opportunity that is available in Tech? As you look out, what's your vision for that?

00:24:28.3 Jan Egeland

This is a fundamental question, a very important one, Aaron. What we need to do, and I'm really serious, is that we need, together, to give hope to this vast generation of youth who are now sitting in hopelessness in conflict areas, in crisis areas, in disaster zones. With, often, very bad governance. Got bad government, but also a lot of terror organizations, general insecurity. Of course, they know as well as you and me that there is an alternative. They know. They know that there are jobs in California and there are jobs in Norway. 

Of course, they don't want to stay put if there is only hopelessness where they are. The tech sector and those of us who are on the ground could work together by providing hope. Number one, of course, we need to be able to provide the education that they need and that they can get. Much of that education, they can get online. For Somali refugees in Kenya, we have excellent online courses and input from the best universities in America, and elsewhere, because we have tech solutions for that. Then we need to give them some certificate on what they can do. Say they've become Software Engineers. There is a need for Software Engineers in Somalia. There is a need for Software Engineers all over the world, but they need certificates on that. 

Pluralsight etc. can help with that. Of course, then we need them to be able to get security and a safe landing somewhere, could be outside of the camp where they have been living for a long time. Palestinians are now in fourth generation in Lebanon and they still haven't been regularized in their status in Lebanon. Fourth generation. They need some way of having the right to work. We will have to work on that. Then we need to get the skills to the market, in the country, in the region, in the larger geographic area. Elsewhere in the world, they can provide their services. They can work... They could even work for Pluralsight somehow, by distance. This is my dream, that we get them to the market, if you like, through new and innovative ways.

00:27:33.1 Aaron Skonnard

That's my dream too. I see the possibility. I see with our platform, with your incredible organization, these types of partnership can really empower that and bring that to life. I'm very excited about that. Is there anything else you'd like to talk about, around our trip to Colombia, Jan? Anything else there that we should discuss?

00:27:54.5 Jan Egeland

I'd like to ask you, in a way Aaron, what surprised you the most? You must have had a lot of preconceived ideas. In a way, I also congratulate you. There are few Tech Executives who put their lives in our hands like that. You went into areas that are pretty tough. We went into the slum areas, where displaced people live etc. You went with us, what surprised you the most? What do you think we could do together there?

00:28:38.8 Aaron Skonnard

I was very surprised by just the sheer number of people crossing the border every day. I was shocked at that. Then seeing them take that risk, such a big risk for them, just really highlighted for me how bad it must have been in the place where they left. Like you said, this place of misery. Just to see what they were walking into just really helped me get a better sense for the nature of what they were leaving, and how severe, and probably horrific that really is for many of them. Then just seeing that moment of... In many ways, it almost reminded me a little bit of an entrepreneurial journey. I don't want to... It's a very different situation. I don't want to trivialize it. But, when an entrepreneur goes out to start something new and they're willing to risk everything, risk every dollar they have, for this idea of what a new future could look like. 

I saw that in these people. This willingness to leave everything behind for a better future, because they believed they could create something so much better for themselves, and their families, and future generations by just getting up and leaving and trying to find a new place. Like a pioneer, we're going to pioneer and find a new future for our families. That was inspiring to me. It was heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. Then, just seeing that moment in your centers just on the other side of the border, how warm and welcoming the NRC was to these people. They walk across and they don't know what they're going to do. They don't have anywhere to sleep that night. Then they get welcomed and you're able to meet that immediate need and provide some of those basic services that are so essential to helping them in their journey. That was just incredibly heartwarming and brought new meaning to our partnership, to see that with my own eyes.

00:30:50.9 Jan Egeland

Indeed. You're right, also, in saying that the people who flee are very often courageous. They are innovative. They are able to do tremendous things, really. They have the same aspirations, hopes, and dreams like we have. One big change is, of course, compared to the Norwegians who took the journey three generations ago, there is no America for them. Part of my family went to California, to New York, to Minnesota, to other places where Norwegians went to. They could emigrate. Your ancestors could emigrate, Aaron. These people are stopped. They cannot go to America. They cannot to Europe. 

We have propelled wars and we need to help them realize their hopes and their dreams in other ways, at the same time as advocating, as much as possible, open borders for those who flee persecutions. People have a right to seek asylum and we have an obligation to provide asylum for those who need it. Colombia should be praised for receiving millions from Venezuela. Colombia is overwhelmed. They are not in a position to give everybody help. That's why the Norwegian Refugee Council is there, and that's why we need partners like Pluralsight, and I hope many others as well. Because, at the moment, I feel overwhelmed and overstretched with my 15,000 colleagues. We could help another 10 million if we had, actually relatively small, additional resources.

00:32:55.0 Aaron Skonnard

Yeah, the magnitude of the need is shocking. These people just want agency. They want to take control of their futures, like you said. The other thing that really surprised me from my visit is, the solutions here are not easy. There's no quick fix. There's no silver bullet. It requires systemic change, which requires these types of long-term partnerships and a global commitment to helping. Let's talk about that for a second. What can the tech industry do to better help you? What can other companies, other Executives, do to get involved and be part of NRCs mission?

00:33:38.2 Jan Egeland

A number of things. I would also say I'm impressed with the tech industry. It's not just your company, Aaron. There are also others who have been willing and able to come and help us and we're very grateful. Number one; we need your help, also, in awareness raising. All over the world now, we're concerned with... It's not just America, we're concerned all over of discrimination, racism, police violence. Many forget that the worst places are where millions have to flee because of violence from military police, guerillas, men with guns and power. The logical extension would be more compassion, more solidarity etc. Also, more focus on the men who do the violence and the impunity by which they do it. We do a lot of work, really, to give attention to the massacres in Africa, and the Middle East, and elsewhere. 

Number two; we need these long-term partnerships where we do need some cash to be able, also, to survive in the field. We need people that can also do risk management. We're in areas where Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, Islamic State etc. roam. We need help with the funding to stay and deliver. Most importantly, I think we need this longer-term product development, pro bono help to lift ourselves on the technology and data side. 

It's one of four core strategic objectives of my organization. The first is to be the best, to stay and deliver in hard-to-reach areas. We are in places no other organizations go, really. I've been to places where, really, it's horrific and there’re very few who are able to help people in the crossfire. We are. Second, we want to do durable solutions. Education, livelihoods, safe landing with a legal status somewhere. We want to be the better among the best, really. I think we're getting there with your help on technology and data. The fourth, we want to be a great place to work, especially for local people and the people we saw together, the Colombians in Eastern Colombia. Very many of them women, are fantastic. Also, we invest in their education. In all of this, we can work together and if people want to visit our web page, nrc.no, and become friends of NRC, like you've been. Please, it's something we want. We need more help.

00:36:56.6 Aaron Skonnard

It's fantastic. So, basically multi-year product grants that really unlock the possibility of tech in organizations like yours. Unrestricted cash grants so you can fill in the gaps of all the earmarked funds you receive from the various governments around the world, and you can really provide a holistic solution. Then, just the individual support. Becoming a friend of the NRC. I love it. It's great. Can we just talk about COVID before we wrap up? We're almost out of time, but it's just so interesting to see what's happened. I want to get a sense for how's COVID impacting your work. What's been the impact and what are you seeing around that with the refugees?

00:37:36.3 Jan Egeland

I must say, it's been part of my life 24/7 now since I left you and crossed the bridge into Venezuela. Some of that time in quarantine at home, most of the time here in the office. Now, we sent the message to our staff that all had a right to withdraw because we saw that it would be tough. The airplanes were stopping to serve countries where we have hundreds of staff etc. and nobody knew, and nobody knows still, how bad it will affect countries in the south with no real healthcare, and with little hygiene, and with very crowded sites of people who flee to places that offer safety, and who now are very exposed to the virus. All stayed. All were willing to stay. 

We are now here, serving people in their hour of greatest need. We want to stay. They stay and deliver and we're now providing services to nearly 10 million people, which is, to a large extent, focusing on preventative work. We need to give more space so that people are not so cramped together. Isolation tents and quarters, both for the most exposed, vulnerable. Those who have pre-conditions that could be dangerous. But, also for those who will be infected. Then, we have gone into safe programming. We don't do distributions. Before, it would be typical that we would give 500 mothers what they need for the next month. Very often, the mother is the one receiving because she's the most responsible, we find. Often with recent children and so on. 

They don't sit, anymore, for hours, patiently waiting for these distributions. We have smaller groups. They have social distancing. We have safe programming. Our staff have also been protected from the virus. We do more cash transfer now. The family would get $20 per week so that they can do the purchases in local markets. We don't do that kind of distributions anymore. 

Finally, we also work to avoid discrimination. I've never seen an epidemic disease where, in the end, the migrants and the minorities were not targeted. Typically, the majority population specializes in blaming someone for epidemic disease. We're trying to avoid that by advocacy, by opinion making, just as we're trying to, for example, in Colombia. We've had massive information carrying, just started when you and I were there, telling people, "Wash your hands, stay away from each other. Stay safe. Move as little as possible into crowds. That's the way you can survive until we get the vaccine, when we will campaign for the vaccine to go to everybody and not to the elite in the north".

00:41:13.1 Aaron Skonnard

Your team members on the ground are true heroes here. Putting themselves out there, in harm's way, through all of this, has been remarkable. If COVID spread through a refugee camp it would be disastrous. The precautions you're taking, how you're working to protect those people is incredibly important right now. I'm personally grateful that you're so involved and you're managing through this so effectively, makes a big difference. 

Last question, Jan. If you could wave a magic wand, what would you do to ensure that every refugee you serve, IDP that you serve, can realize their human rights, and harness their full potential? What does that look like to you?

00:42:04.3 Jan Egeland

What it looks like is, that we get governments, local authorities, and the parties to armed conflicts to protect the civilian population. There is a reason that people flee and that's they were met with violence instead of talks, and negotiations, and protection. There's two wants. Want one is better peace-work, really. We're doing that. We are now in many countries, having local mediators, local negotiators, who try to mediate between farmers and herdsmen, between this tribe and that tribe that would be competing for the same resources. We are able to help people and... Central African Republic... Wonderful story. This, where typical Christians and Muslims killing each other in different parts of the country, and we ended up by seeing that a Catholic priest said to Muslims: "You can stay in my church". 3,000 stayed in the church. These Christian militias were roaming around, ready to kill them. After one year of talks we were able to see to it that the people could return to their homes and they are now living in peace, locally, to this day. It is possible. We need to protect people in their homes. That's our hope.

00:43:49.2 Aaron Skonnard

Wonderful. Well, we love the vision. We want to help you bring it to life. We hope others across the tech industry will get involved, become friends of the NRC and contribute with their products, with cash donations, in the future in a way that can really make a difference in bringing your important work to fruition. 

Jan, thank you for joining us today. We're grateful for you and our partnership and wish you the very best in the months and years ahead.

00:44:21.2 Jan Egeland

Thank you and big thanks to Pluralsight and you, Aaron, for the partnership. We look forward to being partners now, for the benefit that people in great need in the years to come.

00:44:33.5 Aaron Skonnard

Awesome. Thank you, Jan. Take care now.

00:44:35.5 Jan Egeland

Thank you, take care.

00:44:43.0 Daniel Blaser

Thank you for listening to All Hands on Tech. We'd encourage you to visit NRC's website, which is linked in the show notes, to learn more about their important mission and consider becoming a friend of the NRC. 

You can find show notes and more info at pluralsight.com/podcast. Thank you and have a great day.