Skip to main content

You are here


World Humanitarian Day: Beyond 24. What our partners are up to

19 Aug 2019


Today on the 10th anniversary of #World Humanitarian Day, we are paying special tribute to women humanitarians around the world. Our 24 Stories campaign showcases the critical roles women play in saving and protecting lives around the world by documenting 24 experiences of 24 women in 24 hours. But here, we go beyond the 24 stories to highlight inspiring stories of #WomenHumanitarians that we found across social and digital networks. In honour of all humanitarians everywhere, here are some of your stories.

Imprisonment and prison visits

Syrian refugee, volunteer and now prisoner, Sara Mardini has been imprisoned for her work helping Syrian refugees in Greece, as chronicled in The New Humanitarian. Meanwhile, this moving video from the International Committee of the Red Cross shows what it’s like to work in prisons: “When you walk into a prison, there is what you can see and there is what you can feel.”

On the front lines of Ebola

Lots of organizations use 19 August to celebrate the bravery of their staff including #WomenHumanitarians they’ve met around the world. The World Health Organisation celebrates Dr. Gisele Myumbi who heads up an Ebola surveillance team in the Democratic Republic of Congo. What gives her and her team joy? “When we see a patient cured and go out alive,” she says. UK Aid also shines the spotlight on the response to DR Congo’s Ebola crisis, celebrating especially women on the front lines.

Serving refugees and the displaced

Richard Branson tells the story of Clementine Asu Nkweta Salami, head of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Ethiopia, who he met on a recent trip. Here’s her inspiring talk about how her team is helping refugees. UNHCR also celebrates women’s bravery “in every corner of the world. What keeps staff members going? “The stability that you see in a person who has lost hope is really inspiring.” UNWomen showcases the stories of five resilient women humanitarians in Kakuma camp, Kenya. And World Vision celebrates Christine NgbaazandeBond Humanitarian of the Year.“Christine Ngbaazande knows what refugee children go through because she WAS one.”

Syria, of course, looms large. Deputy regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, Mark Cutts, issues a video thanking all the aid workers in Syria who are saving and protecting lives, while WFP Italy spotlights Dulama who procures food supplies for the hungry. Oxfam International has a neat video about how women are helping Syrian refugee women in Jordan’s Za’atari Refugee camp earn an income through meaningful work. NGO GVC Italia celebrates the work of 22-year-old Walaa and her colleagues who are trying to bring better flooring to refugee camps.

Photo: UNWomen/Ryan Brown