World Humanitarian Day 2016, Action Against Hunger, Protect aid workers

Celebrating World Humanitarian Day

On World Humanitarian Day 2016, we share stories from a few of our brave and brilliant staff around the world. #sharehumanity 

By Action Against Hunger

Aug 19 2016

Our fearless and fantastic staff around the world work tirelessly towards our vision of a world without child hunger. This World Humanitarian Day, we’re telling the stories of just a few of our 6,500-strong team, who brave danger and adversity every day to provide millions of children with happier and healthier futures.

Famakan, community health worker, Mali

Famakan is a community health worker in Kourounan village, Mali. He is part of our innovative project with the innocent foundation, which aims to revolutionise the way malnourished children are diagnosed and treated, paving the way for health workers to reach all malnourished children, no matter where they live. 

Famakan has become a key member of this close knit community and shares special bonds with many in the village, including the first child he treated, Khali (pictured). “Khali and I share a very special bond," he said. "He was the first undernourished child I treated here in the village. I’m very fond of him.” 

Famakan is hugely enthusiastic about the difference his work makes in this remote village. "I cannot say it enough, but taking care of these children is my biggest motivation. I am ready to do everything possible to save the lives of children in urgent need."


Dale, fundraising and resource development manager, Philippines

Dale left a well-paid corporate job to join Action Against Hunger in the Philippines, where our incredible team support families affected by natural disaster or conflict as they rebuild their lives. "I had always felt there must be a greater purpose for me other than the accumulation of wealth," he said. "After years in the corporate sector, I found what I was looking for when I started working for a humanitarian organisation.

"Instead of obtaining a positive bottom line, the goal is to help the people who need the most help. Instead of garnering the highest sales, the goal is to treat malnourished children. Instead of acquiring assets, the goal is securing livelihoods. I want to one day say to my two daughters that, even for just a little bit, I made a difference in this world."


Charlotte, emergency pool co-ordinator

Charlotte Schneider is the coordinator of our emergency response pool. Her team intervenes during crises to deliver vital and urgent aid to vulnerable populations. She has worked in countries such as Afghanistan, Haïti and Syria.

“Even if it is a tough job, and while we witness the dark side of human beings, we live for the moments of intense pride [we experience in our work].” 

Charlotte is inspired by the challenges her team often face and overcome. 

“Being able to set up a camp within a few days in temperatures that reach 40°C, and delivering essential supplies and services to mothers and children who have walked for more than three weeks to receive help [constantly motivates and inspires us].”

Charlotte treasures the friendships forged in these difficult moments. “In my opinion, it is the rich variety of these bonds, as well as the vital support provided, which gives all the meaning to our presence," she said. Read her full story here...


Lava, water, sanitation and hygiene promoter, Iraqi Kurdistan

Lava's story is a remarkable one. A former refugee from Syrian Kurdistan, she helps bring clean water to other displaced people in Iraqi Kurdistan.

“I myself am a refugee, and I promised myself I would do my best to assist those in need," she said. "Since I started this job, I’ve heard so many horrific stories from women and children. I cannot look at this situation and do nothing.”

“I do not care where the people are from. I saw this child who was badly burned—that could have been my daughter. How could I not help someone just because they have a different background or religion than me?”

The country’s recent succession of crises has been extremely difficult, but Lava has seen people’s true generosity in the face of difficulty. “When people unite, they can overcome everything.”


Manon, communications and advocacy officer, Central African Republic

Manon joined our team in Central African Republic last year. She relishes the challenge of working as a Communications and Advocacy Officer.

“It’s difficult to live in a country with so many challenges, but it’s really exciting," said Manon, who helps negotiate access for our humanitarian teams to the most vulnerable communities in Central African Republic and raises awareness about their needs. "No two days are the same.” 

Despite the many challenges facing aid workers in Central African Republic, Manon remains optimistic and driven to help find solutions.

“I chose to come to Central African Republic because I am fascinated by this context," she said. "It’s a really complicated crisis and conflict.”

One Humanity

This World Humanitarian Day, we call for global solidarity and stand together with everyone affected by crisis. We unite as One Humanity, with a common responsibility to demand action to reach those furthest behind, and to support those who are most vulnerable and in need of assistance. And we reiterate our call today for the creation of a Special Rapporteur charged with monitoring the application of international humanitarian law worldwide.


Top Photo: Ben Stevens/ i-Images for Action Against Hunger

Article Photos: Ben Stevens for Action Against Hunger, Samuel Hauenstein Swan for Action Against Hunger, Mimi Maitem for Action Against Hunger, Lucile Grosjean for Action Against Hunger, Florian Seriex for Action Against Hunger