World Humanitarian Day – a global celebration
(New York, 17 August 2012): The global campaign for World Humanitarian Day on Sunday 19 August is gearing up, with more than 30 countries planning events celebrating the spirit of people helping people. This year’s campaign is particularly special: it aims to make social media history by sharing 1 billion messages of hope on 19 August to celebrate World Humanitarian Day.
The innovative campaign is asking everyone around the world to pledge to help someone else on Sunday 19 August via the “I Was Here” website, www.whd-iwashere.org.
As the campaign grows in momentum, a special promotional film has been released, featuring an interview with Beyoncé and the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, speaking with television host Anderson Cooper: http://youtu.be/ZrdDUK1MMdw
Beyoncé is actively supporting World Humanitarian Day by donating the music video of her performance of "I Was Here" at the United Nations General Assembly to the campaign. The video will premiere this weekend.
On 19 August, Beyoncé’s special ‘I Was Here’ video will be shown in public screenings in countries around the world, including Australia, Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia, Colombia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In Dubai, a massive projection is planned on the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa. The global screening will culminate in New York, where it will be shown on billboards in Times Square.
“Events are being held in more than 30 countries to involve local communities and get the message out in different ways. In Yemen they’re planning a photo exhibition, while in Afghanistan there will be a debate on television,” said Marie Okabe, Head of Communications for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Other countries, such as Bangladesh, Sudan and Indonesia, are using local theatre groups, media and cinema to promote the day. The humanitarian community in Panama organized a marathon to raise awareness of humanitarian work, and to recognize the people who risk their lives to help people in need – wherever they are.
How to show your support:
Visit www.whd-iwashere.org and ‘Add Your Voice’ via Twitter, Facebook or both, and get the word out to your friends and followers to do the same.
On 19 August, make your mark by doing something good, somewhere, for someone else. Visit whd-iwashere.org for suggestions of how you can make a difference and watch as everyone's messages are simultaneously shared around the world.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.