Today is World Humanitarian Day. Many aid workers are risking their lives to help people in dangerous places from Syria and Yemen to South Sudan and Afghanistan. Others are volunteering their time and skills to help others in their communities. Join us on a trip around the world to meet the people who are always ready to help in a crisis.
Italian Red Cross nurse Daniela and her team rescue a group of people stranded in a sinking boat in the Mediterranean. The work on board the rescue boat is relentless as hundreds of people are rescued from the water every day. Aid workers like Daniela ensure people feel safe and protected. (Photo: Jason Florio / MOAS)
Conflict in South Sudan has forced millions of people to flee their homes. For them, staying in touch with loved ones and getting news from home is even more important. Something as simple as charging a mobile phone can help provide a lifeline. That’s why the Red Cross has set up temporary phone-charging services. (Photo: ICRC South Sudan)
Arriving early for their shift at the Yalda collective shelter, near Yarmouk Camp, aid workers take a moment to play with the children.
“Seeing those children remind me of my playful childhood memories, the ones they probably don’t have the chance to experience. So we play and laugh with them,” one said.
Our partners, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, are one of the only organisations that can cross front lines, bringing aid to millions of people in Syria every month. (Photo: ICRC Syria)
Our therapy dog Twm and his owner, Sarah Disney, head home after visiting people in Carmarthenshire, Wales. Twm supports people who may be facing loneliness due to bereavement, illness or a stay in hospital. (Photo: British Red Cross)
Two volunteer health workers, who are also good friends, share a joke as they relax after giving a health education demonstration in their village. They are part of a programme supported by the British Red Cross to improve access to health care in 73 villages. (Photo: Mandy George / IFRC)
Isara Iose makes a Skype call to his wife Mau and two-year-old son Tau back in Samoa. Isara has been working in Fijian villages ravaged by Tropical Cyclone Winston. He has been supervising the building of new communal and household toilets. (Photo: Navinesh Kumar / IFRC)
Red Cross volunteer Helbert warms up the crowd before a Zumba class, one of the activities the Philippine Red Cross health team in Cebu organise. Aside from the fun and social spirit these sessions bring, community health volunteers measure the blood pressure of local residents every three months to check on individual progress. (Photo: Cheryl Ravelo Gagalac / IFRC)
Student volunteers in Japan, enjoy a bit of fun after spending the day learning about becoming nurses in a Japanese Red Cross hospital. (Photo: Japanese Red Cross Society)
Red Cross workers in Noanamá, west Columbia. The village is only accessible by boat and is hours away from the nearest town. Armed conflict has affected the country for more than 50 years, and more than 8 million people live in inaccessible areas like Noanamá. Very few humanitarian organisations are able to get access to these communities. (Photo: Juan Arredondo/Getty/ICRC)
Play your part
Chief executive Mike Adamson said: “You don’t have to volunteer in a warzone to make a difference. You can be a humanitarian hero in your own community.
“Imagine if all of us committed to learning just a few first aid skills to help others, for example. And in a time when some may seek to encourage tensions between communities, we can all make the effort to encourage tolerance and inclusion.
“Let’s work together to do everything we can to help those most in need, whether they are across the globe or around the corner.”