World Humanitarian Day 2019

Published 16th August 2019

For World Humanitarian Day, this year we celebrate the work of female humanitarians across the globe, amid the risks which they may face in serving others.

From the clinic in east London to the governorate of Sana’a in Yemen, every day women humanitarians are changing the world. They want to share their stories with you:




“It has become very clear to me that, if I want to see things changed, I should be in the arena. So, here I am, choosing courage over comfort every single day.” Meaza Semaw, Medical Coordinator, Ethiopia.








“In this patriarchal society where beating wives is considered the norm, my greatest motivation is that at least I am doing something to create awareness to prevent and reduce gender-based violence. The main challenge I face as a woman is to change the way of thinking of men because I am a “woman”. Why they would listen to a “woman”.” Dr. Syeda Mushrefa Jahan, GBV Programme Coordinator, Bangladesh.









In comparison to women (and especially mothers) suffering the war in my country, I feel extremely lucky to be on the side that provides help rather than the side in need of help. Feeling that I can make a difference, even little, to support men, women, boys, and girls in such a dire situation is just a bless!” Wafa’a Al Saidy, General Coordinator, Yemen. 






“As Nelson Mandela said: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” This quote inspires me a lot and Doctors of the World is providing us this platform to make a difference in others’ lives. Working with them as a pharmacist, involved in drug procurement, supply, and management, gives me the satisfaction of being part of this humanitarian work and help in the provision of essential drugs to needy people.” Aneela Tahir, Senior Pharmacist, Pakistan. 





“As a feminist, I think individual and collective self-care should be recognized as key strategies to enable female humanitarian professionals, especially national staff, to build up personal resilience and maintain their participation in humanitarian movements and actions. This latter is key if we want to achieve our objectives.” Lucille Terré, Former Programme Coordinator, Central African Republic.




“Being a humanitarian worker is a very fulfilling work: it’s a way to contribute, through my field of experience, in strengthening links between populations and individuals throughout the world. I share, give, receive, meet, especially with those most in need of material help, but often so rich in moral values.” Anne Kamel, Medical Coordinator, Emergency Relief Programmes.




With your support, Doctors of the World will make sure nobody suffers or dies due to lack of access to healthcare.