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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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.
Small Acts of Humanitarianism:
It is easy for people to think that there is nothing they can do on an individual basis to help others in an effective manner, so therefore they lapse into apathy. However, small actions can make a difference, be it sponsoring a child or signing a petition.
If you don't have a lot of time, but want to get involved in something, try volunteering at a nonprofit or service organization and giving a few hours of your time every week or month.
Follow Someone's Actions:
If you're not too sure how to get started in your humanitarian work, google examples of men and women that have changed the world by going above and beyond the call of duty to help their fellow humans.
Take a Leave of Absence:
If your workplace and your finances allow you to do so, take a leave of absence for a couple of months or even up to a year. Sign up for a full-time volunteering position abroad in countries that need your help the most. This may lead to a lifetime of humanitarian work.
Find Like-Minded Individuals:
Getting started on the path to becoming a humanitarian can seem daunting. You don't have to do it alone - teamwork helps make change happen and also helps to get things going, resulting in more effective and quicker solutions for those in need. Get your best friend involved, or join a local social service club to get yourself started.
The Spirit of Darfur
City Boy Turned Aid Worker
World Humanitarian Day 2011—Haiti Aid Worker Story
The Life of an Aid Worker
2013 Royal College Teasdale-Corti Humanitarian Award Winner
TEDxUW - Tanya De Mello - Here's How You Get a Job at the UN
Japanese Architect Recognised For Humanitarian Efforts
Angelina Jolie Exclusive Interview about Humanitarian Efforts
Dr. James Orbinski On His Humanitarian Work
Interview with the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia
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.
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.
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.