Tuesday, August 19, 2014

World Humanitarian Day

I really can't believe a year has past since last August 19. World Humanitarian Day recognises those aid workers who have lost their lives in the course of their work, and more broadly to celebrate the spirit of humanitarianism globally. There's a great website set up by UN OCHA with hundreds of profiles of humanitarian workers from all over the globe working in some of the most challenging areas. While I sort of object to the #HumanitarianHeroes hashtag (a bit self aggrandising - but that could just be my innate Australian fear of tall poppy syndrome) I do feel quite special being part of something this big.

Every year on this day I express my gratitude for having such wonderful colleagues, who are so hard working, dedicated, enthusiastic, and professional, and while I've very much enjoyed the last few months of funemployment, I have missed the camaraderie of being in the field. It was incredibly difficult to come down off the high of working in Tacloban in the Philippines, as I have never worked with such a motivated and fun bunch of people, and also to extract myself mentally and emotionally from the organisation I'd spent over 3 years with (i.e. the longest I've ever spent in a job!). So on this special day, I send a special shoutout to all of those colleagues who are doing fantastic work in South Sudan, CAR, Syria, Gaza, Iraq, and all of the other humanitarian crises that are going on around the world right now.

If you see one, hug a humanitarian today!

And for me, well it's time to go back to work, and I've happily accepted a position in the Solomon Islands for a few months with an NGO I've been wanting to work for for a long time. I leave on Friday, and am really looking forward to experiencing Pacific culture and getting back into work mode!