The World Humanitarian Day – which began 19 August 2003 – is a day to commemorate all the lives and efforts of Oxfam staff and partners working on the frontlines amidst ever more complex and difficult environments.
Today, we celebrate those lives – From Iraq, Syrian and Yemen in the Middle East, Somalia, DRC, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Uganda in East Africa throughout Myanmar and Cox’s Bazar camps in Bangladesh. Many have to walk for miles and spend countless hours every day in the harshest of terrains to reach most impacted people with lifesaving water, food and cash. They work closely with the communities to rebuild their lives after disasters, and stand by them in their fight against inequalities and injustices.
The challenges to our humanity are constantly changing every year; some even getting worse. A climate crisis is making our planet simmer to boiling levels, threatening the lives and livelihoods of the most disadvantaged people. Global inequality, populism, and discrimination are on the rise, pushing vulenerable people to deeper poverty and destitute. We will continue to grow, adapt and improve so we can meet those challenges.
But #NoMatterWhat those challenges are, we - Oxfam staff and our great local partners by our side – will remain unwavering resolute, to continue help those impacted and most disadvantaged people. To speak truth to power. To work closely with activists and groups around the world who share our Oxfam values and humanitarian principles.
We talked to some of the Humanitarian Aid Workers at Oxfam from East Africa to the Middle East and Asia. Here they tell us in their own words what makes them humanitarians and what drives them to help others.
Hodan Mohamed- Water Engineer
Hodan who is a water engineer in Somalia says: "I choose to work in the humanitarian sector because I’m motivated to help others and impact the lives of people positively. There are many humanitarian challenges such as conflict and disasters that occur every year leaving communities in desperate need of assistance. As a humanitarian worker, I find being able to help and provide support no matter how small, most satisfying". Read More
Sevde Alparslan - Public Health Assistant in Türkiye
Oxfam has been distributing food and hygiene kits to the most impacted people since the earthquake that hit Türkiye back in February 2023, left a trail of devastation and displaced millions of people. The team has also provided hygiene training to the affected communities. Throughout that time the bond of trust between the people and Oxfam's team was very important. Read More
Gordana - Area Manager in Ukraine
We work with different partners in Ukraine, but the level of community engagement in the response is what I found most inspiring. I saw people who have returned back home, some living in their houses even without windows! I found amazing initiatives coming from the people themselves that were founded to help each other. Those organizations were founded literally a few months after the war, and they were able to reach and help the most vulnerable people. It was extremely impressive.
Khalid Mohammed - Public Health Assistant in Somalia
A major benefit of humanitarian work is the immense satisfaction of knowing that you have made a difference in the lives of those in need. While helping people in stressful and difficult situations, it can also be a terrific opportunity to discover more about yourself and what you are capable of. It is fulfilling to provide love and aid to those in need, even though this work puts people in danger. Read More
Baha'a Mohsen - Oxfam in Yemen food security officer
Baha’a is a father of four, who has been a vital member of Oxfam Yemen's food security team. He says: "our humanitarian work in Yemen takes place in one of the most challenging environments in the world. I lost many loved ones during the conflict and had to come to peace with the fact that I won’t be able to fulfill my dreams. But amid all the darkness, I found a glimpse of hope and decided to act . Read More