This Friday I want to wish you a happy World Humanitarian Day, dear friend. This day is celebrated on 19th August every year across the countries and continents and is dedicated to raising public awareness of the work undertaken by humanitarian organizations, and the huge challenge they face recognize. On World Humanitarian Day we recognize the work and contributions of people who devoted their lives for humanitarian causes, as well as honoring those who’ve lost their lives doing that.
World Humanitarian Day has become an important day around the globe and we can celebrate it by offering our support to humanitarian workers, who strive to stop human suffering wherever it is found, by donating to, joining or supporting a local or global humanitarian organization.
This year’s theme of World Humanitarian Day is “One Humanity” At this very moment there are 130 million people around the world in crisis who need humanitarian assistance to survive. “One Humanity speaks to how our shared human experiences bind us across divides, and create a common responsibility to demand action for the most vulnerable and at risk of being left behind.”
I would like to draw your attention to one such organization which I think deserves some extra attention in this light: Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) or Doctors without Borders. Their dedicated medical staff is there where people need medical attention the most; whether it is in amidst Ebola stricken patients in East Africa or in war-torn Yemen or Syria, doctors and nurses put their lives at risk – and sadly have been killed – to give medical aid to the victims of natural or man-made disaster irrespective of creed or ethnicity. For me the people of MSF are an excellent example of what humanitarian work and causes are all about. But I’m sure that you can think of a number of other people and organizations that deserve our attention on this special day.
But World Humanitarian Day is even more than that. The day plays a key role in strengthening society in many places, where people can join together and achieve a social goal within their community. In many places the celebration of the day spreads awareness about what it means to be human, what it demands of us and the social work that needs doing to become a better society. It encourages maintaining a healthy and friendly relationships between all members of society.
Before leaving you to go and enjoy a wonderful weekend, one I hope you will be able to share with the ones you love, and before urging you to take care and stay safe no matter what you do, I want to share some quotes with you that seem quite appropriate for World Humanitarian Day:
“To say that on a daily basis you can make a difference, well, you can. One act of kindness a day can do it.”
– Betty Williams
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
– Martin Luther King Jr.
“Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
“When we live in a world that is very unjust, you have to be a dissident.”
– Nawal El Saadawi
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.”
– Mother Teresa
“Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Following on the ‘Impossible Choices’ campaign earlier this year, the WHD digital campaign ‘The World You’d Rather’ will launch on 19 August. Featuring a quiz based on the popular game ‘Would you rather’, the digital campaign will bring to light the very real scenarios faced by people in crisis.