World Humanitarian Day: An Inspiring Story

  • 19th Aug 2022

Dear Diary,

Did you know that over 100 million people have been living in forced displacement?

The world is grappling with multiple crises. Violent conflicts, droughts, floods, epidemics, and violence toward women are just a few examples. Seeking help in such a situation takes coordinated efforts.

It takes a village.


Man is a social animal.

We cannot survive without the help and support of our community. In challenging times, we rely on the community. These may be people who share common views, interests, and cultures. The important thing is that it provides a sense of belonging.

Being connected to a group of people allows us to feel supported and secure. Since no man can thrive in isolation, it may be safe to say that the welfare of an individual is associated with the health of his or her community.


When calamity strikes, the resilience of the human spirit finds its most natural expression in the collective actions of the community. There are some who go beyond the call of duty and remind us of our first obligation toward life is to preserve it.

World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is dedicated to the memory of those who laid down their lives during the service of the community. It is a campaign by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

On 19 August 2003, a bomb attack killed 22 humanitarian aid workers. The attack included Sergio Vieira de Mello. He was the UN Special Representative of the Security-General for Iraq. This attack happened at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq.

The day symbolizes:

  • A tribute to humanitarian workers who gave their lives or suffered injuries due to work.

  • Promotes the safety and security of aid workers.

  • Advocacy for the safety and well-being of war victims.

  • Remembers the effort put in by thousands of volunteers for helping others.

Who was Sergio Vieira de Mello?

Sérgio was a Brazilian UN diplomat whose work on humanitarian programs needs promotion. He worked for humanitarian causes for 34 years. He was involved in relief work for victims of armed conflict. He advocated for their rights globally. He assembled the draft for the appointment of World Humanitarian Day.

Sergio’s campaigns had some essential aspects:

  • Creating awareness about the conflict and victims.

  • Ensuring conflict-free areas would gain a perspective on war-torn areas.

  • Show there is more to the conflict than the political agenda and death of combatants.

Sérgio focused on approaching war as a humanitarian crisis for innocent lives. He approached wars as suffering and showed how it made people struggle for survival.

It was 2009, the UN General Assembly initiated the first World Humanitarian Day. The day honors brave workers like him who make the world a better place for those affected by wars and conflict.

The theme of the year:

Each year WHD sets a theme for the celebration. The theme for 2022 is #TakesAVillage.

The theme highlights the importance, effectiveness, and positive impact of humanitarian work. It celebrates volunteers delivering urgent health care, shelter, food, and water to crisis-affected people.

How can you contribute?

Every individual has the power to help their fellow members.

Sometimes, it takes little time and effort to make a significant difference. Today we share some of our ideas about where you can contribute to humanity.

  • Protect civilians: War brings devastation, loss of life and property, or millions of civilians. They end up losing their means of survival. Every conflict ever risen fails to protect the lives of civilians. We should push our government bodies to help protect them in these tough times.

    The Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons in the Time of War should be upheld by all national and international organizations.

  • Donate to a humanitarian organization: There are many organizations that are relentlessly working for aiding the victims of war and war crimes. All these organizations are working towards survival and future rehabilitation of the victims.

    Find out about these organizations. Research which organization is working for a cause that resonates with you. Volunteer your time or donate money to them. All these organizations have fundraisers. Join their groups and clubs and find out where all you can help them.

    A small effort can change somebody’s life.

  • Do humanitarian work: Becoming an international aid worker is a profession. If this seems like something you wish to do, you too can become an international aid worker. This way you would be directly working with international organizations and may have to stay in war-affected countries for years.

    Read more about becoming a professional aid worker. To know read this article by Forbes here.

  • Raise awareness among peers: If you are passionate about such causes, keep educating and updating yourself. Talk about these crises with your friends and family. Encourage the younger generation to read and seek correct information regarding these issues.

    Learn more about their lives, their trauma, and their tragedy. Understanding their situations can help you seek more awareness of the issues that you can help with. If your state, community, or local areas have refugees, try to seek awareness on how you can help them.

  • Educate about the humanitarian crises: Contact experts and organize seminars and discussions. Involve your community in understanding the perspectives of victims. Help them in voicing their own concerns with the local government bodies or authorities. Stand up for their rights and dignity.


War affects millions of people. It snatches their homes and destroys lives. Millions die, suffer malnutrition, hunger, poverty, or disability. All victims of war suffer mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.

But while there are war mongers, people like Sergio spend their lives in aiding people on the ground. Smart Hug salutes the efforts and dedication of all the workers around the world who seek to transform the lives of millions of victims across the globe.

At Smart Hug, we encourage our readers to get inspired by “hidden figures.” We want the world to know their stories and share the burden in any way possible. You do not have to wait for a war. Start with the smallest step, support in the easiest way.

Start small and carry on!

Be inspired and inspire others to do good!

That’s all I have for now,

I will write to you soon.

Take care!