“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” – Mahatma Gandhi
These wise and profound words spoken by the great Mahatma Gandhi can enlighten us all. The world continues to be rocked by war, and we continue to feel the disastrous effects of climate change. We must remind ourselves of the power of humanity. For reasons such as these, August the 19th has been named World Humanitarian Day.
It is important for us to maintain awareness of the horrific conflict currently taking place in many parts of the world. On this day, we honour those aid workers, “Who risk their lives, in humanitarian service, and to rally support for people affected by crisis around the world.”
It was designated by the General Assembly to honour the memory of 22 UN staff killed during a 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq.
Those who are caught in these war zones are innocent civilians, and the conflict is not of their own making. They are mothers, fathers, and helpless children. The trauma of any child having to walk through rubbled streets, and disintegrated cities, while hearing bombs go off in the distance, for us in the West, is unimaginable.
In May 2016, the UN Secretary-General held the first-ever international humanitarian summit in Istanbul. The summit’s purpose was to find new ways to deliver aid and assist in the humanitarian needs of our increasingly attention-deprived, fast-changing world.
According to the UN: “Laying out his ‘path to protection,’ the Secretary-General calls for enhanced respect for international humanitarian and human rights law, and protection of civilians, including humanitarian and medical workers as well as civilian infrastructure.”
The theme for WHD, 2017 is “Protection for Civilians,” who often face violence, disease, and hunger. Through a global, online campaign, which features an “innovative partnership with Facebook live,” there are events around the world, using the hashtag #NotATarget.
These events will allow people to speak out and raise their voices to advocate for the most vulnerable in these war zones and to “demand world leaders to do everything in their power to protect civilians in conflict.”
There are many organizations such as Unicef, Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), UN world food program, as well as The UN refugee agency, who are on the frontline working tirelessly to assist those facing war and devastation.
We are all universally linked by our hearts. We all seek love comfort and security. For those of us who have grown up in a world where we take basic emotional needs for granted, we must then question what would it be like to live in a world where one’s most basic needs are “snatched” away by the terror and devastation of war.
To lose faith in humanity is too dim the light each one of us has inside…We are the world.
More information here: http://www.un.org/en/events/humanitarianday/