The ‘Why’ of International Humanitarian Day
At Catholic Relief Services, we are privileged in our work. We serve generous supporters who expect quality and efficiency on behalf of the poorest of the world’s poor. But even on International Humanitarian Day, our efforts are not the story—it’s all about the people.
Romanowsky reveals this human spirit when looking at our work building shelters in Iraq. Relaying the words of CRS’ Britton Bruckner, she writes, “‘Families and individuals who have endured so much, who are not living comfortable lives, who are getting worrisome updates from family members in ISIS territory—they still want to help, they want to give back. That level of solidarity is inspiring.’”
Miles away, Ethiopia is experiencing its worst drought in 50 years. Our emergency food assistance there reaches about 2.8 million people and, in addition to this, we often have opportunities to do much more. Romanowsky showed this in her profile on Fatima, a mother of seven, who grew from a struggling subsistence farmer to an invigorated entrepreneur through our livelihoods program.
CRS’ Art Kirby told Romanowsky, “‘The faith they have in themselves, and that things will be better, I find quite striking in a country that faces as many challenges as Ethiopia does.’”
Meanwhile, in Gaza, children as young as 8 years old have already experienced 3 wars, Romanowsky writes. Unemployment is at 43%, with youth unemployment at 60%. Still, what strikes CRS’ Hilary Dubose is hospitality.
“‘Gaza is well-known for generosity and kindness,’” she says, in Romanowsky’s article. “‘Any time you visit someone, they welcome you with open arms—whether you’re a stranger, no matter where you’re from. And they have this wonderful sense of humor.’”
World Humanitarian Day recognizes those who dedicate their lives to serving others in difficult circumstances. When you read Romanowsky’s stories, you may understand why they do.
We are privileged to serve.