World Humanitarian Day

According to the United Nations, “World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is held every year on 19 August to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and to rally support for people affected by crises all over the world.”

Did you know?

  • International humanitarian assistance increased for the third consecutive year, reaching a record high of $28 billion in 2015. In 2016, it amounted for $27.2 billion.
  • In 2015, 287 aid workers were victims of major attacks: 109 killed, 110 wounded and 68 kidnapped.
  • A recent report by the World Health Organisation indicates that between 2014 and 2015, approximately a thousand people died as a result of attacks on medical facilities and workers in 19 countries.

Convoy of Hope’s Humanitarian Affairs team is tasked with monitoring and researching crises around the world, creating a response plan and implementing programs to assist people suffering as a result of those tragedies.

We asked the team what it means to be a humanitarian. This is what they said.

Working to advocate for humanitarianism is a very rewarding, yet overwhelming task. While providing relief and help to many in need, the experience of their poor conditions, the sense of suffering, the realization of what they have lost and the reality of their lack of safety weighs on me and compels me to keep working hard to do our part to bring that much-needed hope. — Tamar

Being part of Convoy’s humanitarian affairs team is humbling in many respects, but when I think of the work COH does for and among refugees, I can’t help but wonder that the true “humanitarians” in these situations are the mothers walking across hostile terrain and in harsh climates to protect small children and infants or the fathers who must make near impossible decisions – decisions most of us could never imagine – for the safety and future of their families. — Tom

It is really counter-cultural, counter self-preservation, counter tribal instincts and rights demanded under the threat of scarcity. The individuals we serve model the moral and spiritual grounds for intervention. It is generally they who first secured some vestiges of sanity in chaos to survive, who answered violence with peace, who placed the needs of their community and family ahead of their own safety. — Kari

Being a humanitarian is not an action that only exists while in a refugee camp or in the aftermath of a natural disaster: It is a commitment to a lifestyle from which we choose to view the world. In the realm of humanitarian affairs, we put ourselves in places where people require the most need, sometimes the areas are dangerous and most of the time the areas are thousands of miles from our families. Though our sacrifices can be great, it is minuscule compared to the pain our beneficiaries have gone through and sacrifices they have made to reach the safest places attainable to them. — Roshani

Please join us today as we pray for the humanitarians who are doing good work to help the poor and suffering throughout the world — no matter the risk.

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In The News / Inspiration / Staff Spotlight

Staff Spotlight: Bringing Good Will to All

One might call Will Leidecker our Staff Accountant in Finance. We like to call him our friend.

Where’s home?
Branson, Missouri

What are some of your hobbies?
I enjoy rock climbing, canoeing and camping. Right now, I’m also reading a friend’s book and helping another one of my buddies fix up a bus. You know…normal bachelor stuff.

What’s one of your favorite places in Springfield?
Cherry Picker Package X Fare is a local coffee shop cafe with a cool vibe. They even have fire pits. It’s a great spot to hang out on the weekends.

Do you have any good stories?
I once traveled to Nicaragua to build houses and drill wells. I also went with my friend Marvin, who works with gang members, to visit a prison there. One of the prisoners gave me a bracelet made from a plastic bag. I wear it to remember the people and memories I made on that trip.

Why do you love your job?
My team is great. They want to make everything better, so they listen to what I have to say. I wanted to do something impactful with my career, and I can do that here.

Here’s a co-worker compliment:
Will’s ninja-like CPA skills keep us all afloat and moving steady. He works well with others and shares. He shows the hallmark sign of a truly great accountant, as his desk is often as messy as mine.

I think I can speak for the entire organization when I say we’re glad Will’s on the accounting team, where everybody counts!

~ Jon Krepinevich
Divisional Finance Director

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Staff Spotlight

Hope for Families in San Antonio

“We hit the jackpot!” exclaims Sarah and Dre Valdez’s youngest son as he triumphantly holds two grocery bags loaded with food. He’s only seven, but even he understands the importance of what took place for his family — and thousands of others — at the San Antonio Community Event.

Like many people who attend Convoy’s Community Events, times have been tough for the Valdez family. Both Sarah and Dre recently lost their jobs and have been unable to find work. The free goods and services they received gave them a hand up during a difficult season in their life.

“You forget yourself and your burdens for a while,” says their mom, Sarah. “It was a blessing to come to Convoy of Hope and get things we needed.”

With smiles as wide as the Alamodome, the family of six poses for a photo. Afterward, they collect the new shoes and bags of groceries they received at the event and step into their futures with a renewed sense of hope.

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