In 1863, Henri Dunant founded the International Committee of the Red Cross on the Fundamental Principle of Humanity.
“The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield endeavors, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and last peace among all peoples.”
Now, more than 150 years later, humanity remains a pillar of support and a guiding light for Red Cross and Crescent organizations and has become the ultimate goal for countless aid organizations around the world.
Sunday, August 19th – the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq – was World Humanitarian Day.
On World Humanitarian Day, we “honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and we pay tribute to those who continue to help people around the world, regardless of who they are and where they are”.
But the day is about more than honoring and paying tribute to those who have served. It is also about recognizing and appreciating the acts of kindness, no matter how small, that define our humanitarian spirit. World Humanitarian Day is a “global celebration of people helping people”.
This year World Humanitarian Day organizers and supporters – including the United Nations, singer Beyonce, and numerous international humanitarian aid organizations – launched a campaign to reach 1 billion people, on 1 day, with 1 message of hope. Here’s how YOU can count yourself as one of the 1 billion:
- Let your voice be heard. Take part in the biggest social media message in history and add your voice by signing up with your social network. Your message will be saved until August 19th, and on that day, every message will be sent out as one voice.
- Do something good for someone else. Donate blood. Volunteer for the Red Cross or another local charity. Mow a neighbor’s lawn. Cook a meal for a new mom or a friend going through a rough patch. Just do SOMETHING.
Let the world know that you were here.