We would like to congratulate Mr. Bhava Poudyal on receiving this year’s International Humanitarian Award from American Psychological Association (APA).

His award acceptance speech can be viewed below (45:35-49:35):

Transcript of the speech:

“Thank you,

Namaste, I am from Nepal, and currently speaking from Bangkok, @ about 4:30 in the morning 🙂

I feel honored to receive this recognition by an entity like the APA/CIRP for the work I have done throughout my working life. Thank you very much for this prestigious award.

The countries I have worked in always have had very little capacity in terms of mental health and psychosocial services; there are very few psychologists and psychiatrists. And even when there are, they are not in the areas most affected by conflict and natural disasters. I believe it is pertinent for people like us, to train, coach, mentor and supervise lay people and aspiring young social workers, health workers and psychology students so that capacities are enhanced in areas affected by humanitarian crisis. It actually becomes a brilliant partnership because as we teach, we learn how people express distress, what meaning they attribute to it, and how they seek help and cope with their difficult situations. And we are able to leave behind a sustainable capacity in the country.

From the feedback I have received, after the announcement of this award, I have noted that so many humanitarian psychologists, especially those coming from the Global South, and living and working in these areas, have gotten aware about the APA Humanitarian Award. There are so many people who have spent their lives, like me in this sector, and I am hoping to see more of us, as recipients of this award in the future.

I would like to express my gratitude to all the people I have had the opportunity to learn from, and to those I could serve, to teach and supervise, all have been my teachers – I learned from them in how to navigate in complex humanitarian disasters, in different cultural settings, to be able to provide meaningful care to the populations who are extremely under-served, and leave behind a capacity for this care provision in the country after I leave.

My special thanks goes to the people who have shown unwavering trust, belief, and support in this mission of my life, especially Yubaraj Adhikari is someone I want to mention as he drove me to the recognition of this award.

And last, but not the least, I would like to thank my loving wife (Rianna), and my two children (Avash and Amara) who have been very supportive in my life’s journey to help the under-served. Sometimes happily, sometimes grudgingly , they have uprooted themselves many times as I have moved to different countries for my work.

Thank you all and thanks to the APA awards committee and congratulations to all the other award winners.


Source: https://irp.cdn-website.com/a5ea5d51/files/uploaded/2021-APF-and-APA-Awards.pdf

His publications can be read at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bhava-Poudyal