International Humanitarian Day, observed on August 19th every year, serves as a reminder of the dire need for compassion, empathy, and unity in a world plagued by conflict, poverty, and natural disasters. It is a day to honour and pay tribute to all the individuals who dedicate their lives to alleviating human suffering and promoting peace globally.
World Humanitarian Day 2023- No Matter What
From our 2022 theme of “It Takes a Village”, we are here again this year 2023 to celebrate the International Humanitarian Day 2023, on the Theme “No Matter What.” In line to this, it calls for us to acknowledge the dedication of Humanitarian workers worldwide, recognizing their efforts and selfless engagement to respond to the needs of affected communities and populations. It allows us also to reflect upon the challenges faced by humanitarian workers and organisations; and gives us the dire need to relook into the collective responsibility we all share to make the world a better place for everyone calling for us to embrace compassion and unity across CSOs for maximum service delivery for Community affected Persons.
LUKMEF For “Humanity First” #NoMatterWhat
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation, LUKMEF Cameroon founded in 1999 with the vision of creating a world where every individual, every community and nation should be able to live life to its fullest without compromising the ability of the next generation from enjoying same, engages through its mandate to provide timely and effective community relief support through its humanitarian interventions across the Northwest, Southwest and Littoral regions of Cameroon amidst the Socio-political upheavals in the NWSW, challenging physical and security access, community low acceptance in some areas and low donor fundings.
In guise of asserting the view of “#NoMatterWhat”, and embracing compassion and promoting unity, LUKMEF engages in empowering and supporting individuals, groups and whole communities to take lead and control of their individual and collective advancements towards fulfilled and happy lives in peace and perfect harmony with other human beings and nature both for present and future generations on a right based approach.
Within this year’s theme of “No Matter What”, there is a need to foster the Promotion of Peace and Unity
One of the primary objectives of International Humanitarian Day is to foster peace and unity among nations and communities. In a world that is often divided by political, religious, and social differences, the humanitarian community continues to work tirelessly to bridge these divides and promote dialogue, understanding, and reconciliation. By embracing diversity and recognizing our shared humanity, we can create a more inclusive and harmonious world.
The Role of Technology
In recent years, technology has played a significant role in humanitarian efforts, revolutionizing the way aid is delivered. From using drones for emergency response and mapping to harnessing the power of data and digital platforms for efficient coordination, technology has enabled humanitarian organizations to reach more people and provide timely assistance. As we celebrate International Humanitarian Day, it is essential to recognize the potential of technology in advancing humanitarian objectives while ensuring its ethical and responsible use. However, this remains a key challenge in Cameroon, and thus, aid provision in hard-to-reach communities within some areas remains a nightmare for reaching out. This, therefore, lives many in suffering needing assistance. However growing efforts are seen still in the dimension of humanitarian coordination aided by the role of technology with low organisational technology power and capacity to sustain this initiative and to effectively participate within these systems.
Supporting Local Communities
International Humanitarian Day is an opportunity to highlight the importance of supporting and empowering local communities. In many situations, local individuals and organizations are the first responders to emergencies, possessing invaluable knowledge and understanding of the context. By investing in local capacity-building initiatives and strengthening community resilience, we can ensure a more sustainable and effective humanitarian response. LUKMEF anchors its intervention on a beneficiary-centred and community-based approach in fulfillment of our mandate of empowerment of individuals, organizations, and communities to take charge of their development issues in a sustainable manner. Our communities and beneficiaries are the centres of our interventions.
Community stakeholders are consulted and engaged at all stages for effective program development, implementation, and evaluation. They are consulted through stakeholders’ engagement sessions and through our community-based actors within communities. They act as interlinks between the organizations and the beneficiaries. The delivery of services is through empowering individuals, institutions, and whole communities to take leadership in addressing their own social, economic, and pollical challenges using an inclusive (gender and persons with disabilities, minorities) and a rights-based approach through effective gender mainstreaming and considerations as well as environment sustainability consideration while upholding accountability principles to affected populations and communities.
Inspiring Action for maximum impact and service delivery
International Humanitarian Day is not only a day of reflection but also a call to action. Each one of us has a role to play in promoting humanitarian values and making a positive impact on the lives of others. Whether through volunteering, supporting humanitarian organizations, or advocating for policy changes, every action, no matter how small, can contribute to creating a more compassionate and just world. Communities, individuals, alongside CSOs in Cameroon are thus challenged to build and enhance perfect unity towards addressing the common sufferings of local populations for maximum service delivery. In this regards LUKMEF through its LUKMEF AFRICA CIVIL SOCIETY DEVELOPMENT CENTRE, LACSODEC whose mission is to provide a sustainable infrastructure and content towards log term strengthening of the institutional and operational Capacities of civil society organizations in Cameroon and Africa thereby making them more impactful in driving local, national and regional development and governance. The centre harbors an ecosystem of services, tools, knowledge management, research, data centre , Tele-conferencing, lodging facilities, IT hub, co-workspace etc which are all accessible physically and remotely to respond to the needs of CSO. We therefore call on all National CSOs to identify, register to allow meaningful networking and allowing visibility through the CSO space (To register or know more about the centre, click: www.lacsodec.org).
International Humanitarian Day 2023 serves as a reminder of our shared responsibility to alleviate human suffering and build a more inclusive and peaceful world. As we recognize the tireless efforts of humanitarian workers, let us embrace compassion, unity, and empathy in our daily lives as CSO, communities and individuals coming together, we can create a brighter future for all, where the principles of humanity and solidarity guide our actions for maximum impact.