Today we celebrate humanitarian aid workers and reflect on the role they play in helping to change the world. This day was created to honor the deaths of 22 people from a bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, one of which being the chief humanitarian in Iraq, Sergio Viera De Mello. After Sergio’s passing, the U.N. passed a resolution to recognize humanitarians and their missions. Thus, every August 19th we show how grateful we are towards real life heroes across the globe.
Through COVID-19, aid workers have faced the challenge of helping individuals and communities in 54 countries and 6 continents (UN.Org). This year, COVID-19 has been one of the largest barriers for humanitarian aid due to safety restrictions around the world. This has resulted in communities, civil society, and local NGOs being the frontline of the response.
The United Nations dedicated the 11th annual World Humanitarian Day to Real Life Heroes: “The campaign focuses on what drives humanitarians to continue to save and protect lives despite conflict, insecurity, lack of access and risks linked to COVID-19.”
The campaign presents inspirational stories from individuals around the world who are helping communities affected by COVID-19. On ShareYourself, we have compiled a list of Real Life Heroes that are active in our community.
“Liberia is a country with a poor health system, with a high poverty rate, and most of our health equipment is donated by international partners. But now every country is facing a major crisis in its health sector. This may place low attention to Liberia that is at high risk with this COVID-19” - Foeday Zinnah
Like many parts of the world COVID-19 has been a difficult feat to overcome.
Thankfully, people like Foeday Zinnah have risen to the occasion. Based in Harbel, Margibi County, Liberia, Zinnah and members of his organization (YARD-Liberia) created the COVID-19 Locally Made Nose Mask Project to help prevent the spread of the virus in their community and in the surrounding areas.
The goal of the project is to make face masks available for both people on the frontline fighting coronavirus, and locals in need in their community.
Foeday Zinnah is a Real Life Hero.
“According to UNFPA, disease outbreaks affect women and men differently, and pandemics make existing inequalities for women and girls and discrimination of other marginalized groups such as persons with disabilities and those in extreme poverty, worse” - Elizabeth Williams
Elizabeth Williams is a Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Expert with 6 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She has managed projects mainly focused on SRHR, gender-based violence, female genital mutilation, HIV/AIDS, and Family Planning. Williams saw an opportunity to apply her expertise towards combating COVID-19 through Project Aid.
Through Williams' project she educated and sensitized 300 girls and women in the community on the COVID-19 pandemic and proper handwashing. She also provided COVID-19 relief materials which included food, hand sanitizer, soap, pads, and buckets for handwashing at specific spots in the community.
Elizabeth Williams is a Real Life Hero.
“ All through my leadership of my team at Godjen Trust Ltd, and my interaction with people of diverse backgrounds, I've come to realize that in the eventuality of any emergency, the children, the poorest of the poor, the less privileged, orphans, people with disabilities, etc are the most vulnerable” - Obioma Enwereji
When COVID-19 reached Nigeria, Obioma Enwereji knew that children in poor areas were going to be very vulnerable. He realized when the lockdown began that children need to be taught how to protect themselves.
And so, Enwereji created the project COVID-19 Direct Touch Project. Through the project Enwereji created fun learning exercises and additionally he provided meals for the children who would attend his classes
Obioma Enwereji is a real hero.
ShareYourself recognizes all of the health risks that these individuals undertook to help others in need through the pandemic. The work and ideas that people are implementing both on and off of ShareYourself prove that coordination, cooperation, and unity can go a very long way.