It’s World Humanitarian Day – a day to recognize the dedicated people who risk their lives while working on the frontlines to help others in crisis. The theme this year recognizes women humanitarians and their tireless work to help make the world a better place.
The United Nations declared August 19th as World Humanitarian Day after UN humanitarian aid worker Sérgio Vieira da Mello was killed along with 21 colleagues when the UN Headquarters in Baghdad was bombed on August 19, 2003.
In this divisive political climate, it’s hard not to become discouraged about the state of the world when you hear angry mobs yelling “lock her up” or “send her back” south of the border; while here in Ontario we have a premier whose terrible policies punish everyone who isn’t part of his wealthy inner circle.
At OPSEU, we recognize the importance of humanitarian work and what it means to be a good global citizen. For example, our Social Justice Fund is dedicated to projects that support health care, education, clean water and lifting people out of poverty in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. Our Live and Let Live Fund supports groups actively involved in fighting HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa and Ontario.
Our union fights daily for better working conditions, public services and social justice so Ontario is a province that is fair for everyone.
Humanitarians show us that there are many good people in the world in times where that may be difficult to remember. Let us look to the humanitarians here at home and around the world as an inspiration and a reminder that we can all do better.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, First Vice-President/Treasurer