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Social Issues
It’s World Humanitarian Day: #Strength, #Water, #Love… What Would You Pick?
August 19, 2013
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August 19 is World Humanitarian Day, and to celebrate, the United Nations is launching a social media campaign that turns "words into aid."

The month-long campaign is called "The World Needs More," and it encourages people to "sponsor" a word that represents the improvements they want to see in the world.

The whole thing is going down on social media: on Twitter, people are encouraged to share the hashtag #TheWorldNeedsMore, along with their word of choice as a hashtag (#Inclusion, #Love and #Water are a few examples).

If the word you tweet is a featured hashtag on the World Humanitarian Day website, the UN will donate money to aid agencies for each message. Facebook users can also share a word from the World Humanitarian Day site to trigger a donation.

And people can support a word of their choice directly by donating cash at the website.

The UN got some celebrities on board to help with the campaign: Beyonce and internet sensation Kid President met up recently for an interview to promote the big day. Check out video of that meeting below (Beyonce's word is #Strength, by the way):

World Humanitarian Day is observed on August 19, a date that was chosen to commemorate the 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq. Twenty-two humanitarian workers were killed in the bombing, and the annual day is a chance to remember them and the dozens of humanitarian workers who have lost their lives since.

But the day is also "an opportunity to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the globe," according to the UN website.

Dave Toycen, the president of World Vision Canada, wrote an opinion piece about that spirit for The Globe and Mail today, hailing "the changing face" of humanitarian aid and praising "local heroes."

He writes about the importance of finding humanitarian workers who "better reflect the communities in which they're being called to work" - members of the community who were born and raised in the countries or region where they serve.

Toycen was in the red chair last season along with Kardinal Offishall talking about development in Africa.


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