Message to commemorate World Humanitarian Day

The international community, including the Red Cross Society of Seychelles marks World Humanitarian Day, WHD, every year on 19th August, in recognition of aid workers who have lost their lives in the course of their duty. It is also a day to celebrate humanity and the spirit that inspires people to help others who are in need, even in difficult and dangerous situations, often putting their own lives as risk.

Designated in memory of the 19 August 2003 bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, killing 22 people, including the chief humanitarian in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, the United Nations General Assembly formalized the day as the World Humanitarian Day (WHD) in 2009.

Every year, the WHD brings together partners from humanitarian networks across the world to promote and advocate the ‘survival, well-being and dignity of crises victims.’ It also recalls the safety and dignity of humanitarian and aid workers.

This year the WHD, celebrated under the theme #thehumanrace#; highlights ‘the immediate human costs of Climate Change, CC, crisis on the world’s most vulnerable people and the need by world leaders to take meaningful actions to protect #thehumanrace#

Seychelles as a Small Island State, is aware of the consequences of CC on the lives and livelihoods of humans and of our vulnerability as part of the global community. Hence, recognizing the need to continue and empower, upgrade and expand our efforts towards the mitigation of climate change effects and impacts on our own people and their lives.

The Red Cross Society of Seychelles, being the leading humanitarian local organization working in coordination with the government and community partners; has not missed the privilege to be part of the commemoration of the WHD this year.

Our volunteers and staff members are always present, on the COVID 19 front and also at every point where efforts and interventions are required to prevent, control and mitigate material, physical and psychological loss and damages during a crisis whether it be a fire, a flood or any other form of ‘force majeure’ event needing our presence and intervention.

The RCSS also recognises that there are also individuals who are displaying qualities and values of service towards others, as part of their interactions with others in their daily activities.

Therefore, this year, inspired and celebrating #thehumanrace# the RCSS wishes to extend its gratitude and respect towards every member of the ‘humanitarian community’ locally, regionally and globally and that especially includes our volunteers, staff and others at the frontlines.

As we continue to work together to ‘make a difference in the lives of fellow human beings’, may we always recall our own importance as part of #thehumanrace# and how much hope our actions inspire others as we strive in our humanity every day.

Being a humanitarian requires courage, empathy and resilience; qualities which are not necessarily found in everybody. We sometimes have to make a lot of sacrifices but being part of another human being’s reason to hope for a better day and to believe that there is always a ‘light at the end of the tunnel is a reward in itself,” stated one of RCSS’ staff.