Tag Archives: World Humanitarian Day

World Humanitarian Day – Profile of Local Heroes

Interview with Amar Singh, Founding President with Turbans4Australia (T4A)
 In his own words.

“We as humans, should always uplift, support and be kind. People during times of need remember kind gestures and this is what restores their faith in humanity”.

Can you tell us about your organisation ?
T4A is a charity organisation that was founded in 2015 to encourage Australia’s Sikh to help anyone in need regardless of their religion, race or ethnicity. We raise awareness about important social issues, fundraise for worthy causes and participate in charitable works, all while promoting multiculturalism and religious tolerance. Although we started out in Sydney, we now have a volunteer base in cities across Australia, with around eighty people volunteering with us every week during Covid-19.

Through our charity work, we strive to eliminate the fear surrounding cultural and religious diversity, showing our fellow Australians that we share the same values of egalitarianism and mate-ship. While our commitment to charity work is grounded in the Sikh concept of “seva” or selfless service to the community, we are equally committed to embracing people of all faiths and therefore do not engage in any acts of proselytisation.

What work has T4A has done to support communities and how you did it?
T4A has a strong history of assisting vulnerable Australians facing hardship and disadvantage. For instance, in 2015 we delivered much needed supplies to drought-stricken farmers in Coonamble and Dubbo, transporting seven semi-trailers full of hay and $3000 worth of groceries. In 2018 we delivered Christmas presents to Coonamble’s Indigenous community, and in 2019 we handed over groceries and warm winter clothes to those facing financial hardship in the small regional town of Weston.

However, 2020 has by far been our biggest year yet, requiring more labour and resources than any of our previous projects.  During Australia’s devastating bushfire season of 2019/20, our volunteers delivered emergency food, water and grocery supplies to regional and rural communities on New South Wales’ north and south coast.

From November to mid-February, we made eight trips to twelve towns across New South Wales, contributing at least thirty to fifty hours of volunteer labour per trip. We distributed 80 tonnes of donated goods valued at around $65,000, delivered 120,000 bottles of water, prepared hot meals for emergency service staff and people displaced by the bushfires, and bought and delivered $4,000 worth of hand tools to help Cobargo residents clean up in the bushfire aftermath. We raised a total of $10,000, a quarter of which was donated to a local Lions club. Another quarter was given to Milton Rural Fire Service, and half was handed over to Horsley Park Rural Fire Brigade.

Later this year our volunteers stepped up yet again when we launched our first-ever nationwide project in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the pandemic sent Australia into lockdown in March, our team has been providing freshly cooked meals and grocery hampers to people in need. Many of the people we help are elderly, disabled or homeless, while others have recently lost their jobs and are struggling financially. Some have chronic health conditions and are self-isolating to protect themselves from infection or are undergoing their mandatory fourteen-day quarantine after returning from overseas. Others are international students or temporary migrants who may be ineligible for government financial support and are unable to return home to their families.

Our volunteers have been operating out of crisis response centres in Canberra, Queanbeyan, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Wollongong, Goulburn and Sydney. From our two venues in Sydney, we have cooked around 16,000 hot meals and packed over ten tonnes of groceries. In Canberra, we have provided over 4,000 meals and 500 hampers containing three tonnes of groceries. From one venue alone, we can hand out more than 250 meals in a single day.

Listen to additional audio interview here with Amar

See more stories from the Asia Pacific including Turbans for Australia on the UNOCHA website here https://whdasiapacific.org/stories/amarsingh.html


Honoring the Women Who Continue to Provide Life-Saving Support – World Humanitarian Day

The sound of bagpipes echoed in the chapel at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture as guests gathered to commemorate humanitarian workers killed and injured in the line of duty, while honoring those who continue to work tirelessly to provide life-saving support to people most in need.

The event commenced with the UN Secretary General’s message read by Louise Aubin, UNHCR representative and Acting Director of UNIC followed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) message delivered by the Head of ICRC Leonard Blazeby. The representative from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Clare Walsh acknowledged the work of millions of women humanitarians who have and still are changing lives across the globe.

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World Humanitarian Day Briefing by UN Resident Coordinator, Papua New Guinea

IMG_4398 (1)On the 23 August to celebrate World Humanitarian Day UNIC Canberra organised a Diplomatic briefing via Webex by the UN Resident Coordinator, Papua New Guinea, Mr Roy Trivedy.

The briefing was focused on the El Nino climate pattern over the last year, its impact on Papua New Guinea and the corresponding humanitarian efforts to assist communities.

Beginning his briefing, Mr Trivedy said that the El Nino brought with it severe drought and frosts which was catastrophic for a country like Papua New Guinea which has 80 percent of its population heavily reliant of subsistence agriculture.

He explained the various impacts of the El Nino and how communities struggled to cope. One main issue was the lack of rainfall which resulted in the rivers and rainwater catchments drying up leading to a drastic decrease in access to clean water for drinking, cooking and washing. And where communities were reliant on waterways for transport the drop in water level caused difficulties in accessing markets, he said.

In addition to these problems drought created food shortages and food insecurity as food gardens wouldn’t grow – resulting in some communities having to rely on wild crops and berries which is generally regarded as famine food, he added.

World Humanitarian Day celebration in Canberra

Panellists and Speakers at World Humanitarian Day event in CanberraWorld Humanitarian Day, a day for celebrating the world’s humanitarians was celebrated at Parliament House in Canberra on the 19th of August with a focus on the stories behind the headlines. Ms. Melissa Parke, Co-Chair of the Australia-UN Parliamentary Group and Federal Member for Fremantle opened the proceedings and welcomed everyone Continue reading

World Humanitarian Day: Become a Messenger of Humanity

World Humanitarian Day is a time to recognize those who face danger and adversity in order to help others. This year the UN invites you to be a Messenger of Humanity and stand up for humanity by amplifying a generation’s call for a better world! Continue reading

World Humanitarian Day 2013 in the Asia Pacific

Indonesians share their ideas about what the world needs more at World Humanitarian Day 2013 in Jakarta. Credit: OCHAAid workers often risk their lives to do the work most of us would shy away from. From Iraq to Syria, Libya to Somalia, thousands of men and women work tirelessly each day in the face of insurmountable danger and some have lost their lives in the course of duty. Paying tribute to their spirit, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) and humanitarian actors Continue reading

Security Council considers protection of civilians in armed conflict and stronger peacekeeping mandates

A wide view of the Security Council open debate on protection of civilians in armed conflict. 19 August 2013 New York, United NationsDespite recent strides in strengthening the ability of the United Nations to protect civilians, conflicts around the world were still characterized by a “prevailing disrespect” for the core principles of international humanitarian law, top officials warned the Security Council today. Briefing the Council ahead of a Continue reading

Today is World Humanitarian Day, turn words into aid!

World Humanitarian Day 2013This year the UN and its humanitarian partners are launching a ground-breaking campaign called The world needs more… This is a first-of-its-kind project that will quite literally turn words into aid. 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. 19 August, 2013 marks 10 years since that tragic event, which claimed Continue reading