World Humanitarian Day is a time to recognize those who face danger and adversity in order to help others. The day was designated by the General Assembly to coincide with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq. World Humanitarian Day is also an opportunity to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the globe.
The social media pages of millions of people around the world will look drastically different over the coming days following the launch of #ShareHumanity, a global digital storytelling campaign designed by the United Nations and partners to mark World Humanitarian Day 2015.
Stories from people affected by humanitarian crises in countries like Syria, South Sudan and Afghanistan will flood the social media feeds of celebrities, influencers and the public in a bid to draw the world’s attention to human suffering across the globe.
Australian singer Cody Simpson, Chinese martial artist Jet Li, British media mogul Richard Branson and Brazilian footballer Kaká kicked off the #ShareHumanity campaign by sharing people’s stories of survival, resilience and hope.
“I’m getting behind #ShareHumanity because it’s a way of showing that we haven’t forgotten that there are millions living in humanitarian crises,” said 18-year-old singer/songwriter Cody Simpson. “I hope others will join us in this massive display of public support calling for a more humane world.”
The #ShareHumanity campaign calls on social media users to “donate” their social media feeds, turning individual Twitter and Facebook accounts into unique storytelling platforms. The campaign aims to leverage the collective power of millennials to inspire a greater sense of responsibility, solidarity and social activism using the far-reaching impact of social media.
“We’re calling on the young and digitally-connected to help us push out these compelling stories and give a voice to the voiceless,” said Stephen O’Brien, UN Humanitarian Chief. “Young people often ask me what they can do to help and I believe we have a shared responsibility to raise awareness and help to inspire humanity on these global issues.”
This year’s World Humanitarian Day campaign reflects a world where humanitarian needs are far outstripping the aid community’s capacity to help the millions of people affected by natural disasters, conflict, hunger and disease. While the United Nations and its partners aim to reach nearly 80 million of the world’s most vulnerable with life-saving emergency assistance this year, this is nearly double the number of just ten years ago.
Today is just the start. The #ShareHumanity campaign hopes to build momentum towards the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, set to take place in Istanbul next May, where heads of state, business leaders, civil society representatives, humanitarian workers and ordinary people will set in motion an agenda to better respond to and reach the tens of millions of people around the world facing life-threatening crises.
For more information about World Humanitarian Day, the #ShareHumanity campaign or to share an inspiring story of humanitarianism in action across select social media platforms, please visit www.worldhumanitarianday.org.
Learn more about the World Humanitarian Day