What is a Humanitarian?

Also known as: Ethical Humanitarian, Philanthropist.

A humanitarian is someone who actively engages in promoting human welfare and social reforms, and who has no prejudice with human suffering on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, religious or national divisions. A humanitarian's goal is to save lives, relieve suffering, and maintain human dignity. This can be done in the form of rescuing and providing safety for refugees, providing shelter and food for the homeless, or helping people in the aftermath of natural disasters or civil unrest.

Humanitarians battle disease, hunger and violence in some of the most inhospitable situations, locations and climates and they persevere despite the risks of kidnappings, death threats, murder and other deadly and abusive behaviour from the communities they work within.

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What does a Humanitarian do?

Humanitarians promote human welfare and ideas of people; they bring about change in the normal behavioural patterns of a society and help to aid by giving money or necessities for those in need. Necessities could be in the form of food, water, clothing, shelter, equipment and medical supplies which give relief to people in unfortunate and desperate situations.

Doing and participating in something that results in an act of kindness goes a long way in someone's eyes. The simple act of donating money to a charity or a cause that one believes in is also considered a humanitarian act, and should not be measured by how much time or money is spent. It takes a lot for a person to care about someone they don't personally know. It is a wonderful human ability to be able to understand struggle, loss, pain and fear and to turn that understanding into a humanitarian act. In turn, this brings happiness, not only to the one(s) in need, but to the person giving the helping hand.

At the end of the day, a humanitarian does not look for glory or praise. His or her main goal is to make a difference in the world they live in, to make someone's life better than what it is, and to ease the plight of people that have little hope.

What is the workplace of a Humanitarian like?

The workplace of a humanitarian is not subject to one particular place. It can be anywhere in the world that is in need of help. Whether it is working from a desk in your local community or digging a well in Africa, a humanitarian is someone that acknowledges the importance of forming strong working bonds with their community and other communities. People from all over the world, from different walks of life and different faiths, can make a difference by their humanitarian acts.

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Further Reading

  • Life As A Humanitarian Aid Worker

    There are a lot of misconceptions about us humanitarian aid workers. No, I don’t spend my days sitting under mango trees, teaching English to little children and holding hands with elder women.

  • What Is a Humanitarian Emergency?

    A humanitarian emergency is an event or series of events that represents a critical threat to the health, safety, security or wellbeing of a community or other large group of people, usually over a wide area.

  • Examples of Humanitarian Acts

    Whether you are interested in involving yourself in some humanitarian efforts or simply want to know more about the subject, becoming familiar with examples of humanitarian acts can be helpful in order to better understand how to assist fellow human beings.

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