World Humanitarian Day 2012

Emergencies article written on the 17 Aug 2012

Beyonce screenshot - "I was here"

This Sunday 19 August is World Humanitarian Day (WHD), a day where we acknowledge and celebrate people helping other people, often in extremely challenging circumstances — the aftermath of natural disasters, for example, or in the midst of drought, civil unrest or severe poverty.

Established to commemorate the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad (which killed 22 UN staff), World Humanitarian Day reminds us of the lengths to which many humanitarian aid workers go in their efforts to bring about positive change in other people’s lives.

Oxfam is very proud to be part of the international humanitarian community, and to work with so many inspiring individuals dedicated to making the world a fairer and brighter place for everyone.

Doing good is easy!

At a more grass-roots level, WHD is also a timely opportunity to reflect on our own lives, and what we as individuals can do to help others. Always wanted to volunteer for a charity? Don’t wait a minute longer! Thinking of organising a fundraising event to support your favourite good cause? No time like the present. In fact, the theme of this year’s World Humanitarian Day is just that: “Do something good, somewhere, for someone else.”

Suggestions from the official WHD website include such simple acts of kindness as visiting an elderly person, donating one’s skills to a community project and tutoring a disadvantaged young person.

I was here

Want to add your voice to the biggest social media message in history, in celebration of World Humanitarian Day? Join the “I was here” campaign. Simply submit your message of hope to their website, and it’ll be sent out as part of one huge voice on Sunday…

Sound a bit abstract? Watch singer Beyoncé explaining how it works above.

Find out more

Read about Oxfam’s humanitarian work, as we respond to emergencies around the world

Read more about World Humanitarian Day 2012 on the UN’s OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) website

Add your WHD message before Sunday!