Tomorrow is World Humanitarian Day, a day to celebrate the spirit of humanitarianism that motivates thousands of people worldwide to dedicate their lives and careers to making the world in which we live a better place. The theme of the day is #TheWorldNeedsMore #________. I’ve spent some time reflecting on how to fill in this statement, and what I’ve realized is that the world needs more hope.
World Humanitarian Day 2014. Learn more: www.worldhumanitarianday.org
My position at CWS means that I get to spend part of each day bringing our stories of change to a larger audience. I get to lift up the triumphs and progress that our global neighbors experience. I spend a considerable amount of time learning about the good that CWS and similar organizations are doing in the world. I definitely get my daily dose of the challenges and divides that are facing us as a global community, but not a day goes by that I don’t read about a success that the NGO community has had.
What I’ve realized – and what I try to convey through CWS social media – is that there is an unprecedented amount of good being done in the world today. There are millions of reasons to have hope. While global hunger continues to be a huge problem, the number of hungry people worldwide has fallen by 17% since 1990. The Millennium Development Goals are “the most successful anti-poverty push in history,” meaning that the world is a healthier, more well-fed and more educated place than it was before the Goals started.
Every individual, family and community has an inherent strength and value and recognizing this intrinsic value is an integral part of progress and fills me with hope. Here at CWS, we have been described as “people who value desperate communities.” Our model of community development is based on enhancing the skills and resources already in place in the communities in which we work.
And it’s working. Whether it’s using solar panels to provide electricity in remote villages of Bosnia and Herzegovina, empowering women in Kenya with business loans and literacy or resettling refugees from around the world in the United States, CWS is touching lives by building on the inherent strength of recipients.
The world needs to know about all of the good that takes place daily. We need to consider the generosity that swells when we as a global community stand together in the wake of a disaster. We need to celebrate the communities that have been transformed by new technology, training and opportunities as well as the people who make it possible. That’s what World Humanitarian Day is all about, and that’s why #TheWorldNeedsMore #Hope.
Laura Curkendall is the Digital Content Associate at CWS.