Canadian Humanitarian Heroes

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Brett Tarver
Manager, PR & Communications
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84% of Canadians want Canada to be known as a global leader in finding solutions to poverty and protecting the world’s children.
Sergia (left), Susan (center) and Lanelyn (right) have been tirelessly volunteering for 18 years. Motivated by their passion to advance transformational development in their communities, they support a community-based organization in Bohol supported by World Vision. Photo/World Vision
(August 18, 2015)
MISSISSAUGA, ON – To mark World Humanitarian Day tomorrow (August 19), World Vision is asking Canadians to recognize those who help others in the world’s most dangerous places.

This includes many Canadian aid workers who head to so-called “fragile” states such as Somalia, South Sudan or Afghanistan, where governments are either unable or unwilling to provide the most basic services, like health care or education. These humanitarian heroes work on the frontlines of tragedies and are often the main source of support for those in desperate need, including mothers, babies and young children. 

International humanitarian work is one of the world’s toughest jobs. But humanitarian workers are the first to tell you that they are just ordinary people who happen to work in extraordinary places, driven by the desire to help others.

Quotes from Canadian Humanitarians:
“I love it and hate it at the same time. I love it because I'm helping children and families who have been affected by conflict and emergencies, at least on some scale. I hate it because there's just so much happening around the world that it feels impossible to bring aid to all those who need it. But that's also the motivation not to give up: you just keep at it, hoping to create ripples of change.” 
-Vanessa Saraiva, World Vision Canada
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

“Helping make lives a little bit easier for children whose lives have been turned upside down. This is the best and the worst part. Finding comfort in knowing I am not standing idly by while children are having their basic human rights denied, but also knowing there will be another crisis around the corner with another group of children who are struggling to survive another day.” 
-Denis Brown, Operations Manager, Syria Crisis Response, World Vision International
Hometown: Sudbury, Ontario

“It’s the children who haunt your heart long after you leave Romania or Rwanda; it’s the children who bring you back to places like Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone. I’ve not had the joy of being a parent myself, but like most Canadians, I believe we are called to care for our neighbours. I’m inspired by the resilient determination of the poor and so privileged to share their stories.” 
-Karen Homer, Communications Specialist, Ebola Response, World Vision Sierra Leone
Hometown: Guelph, Ontario

Quick Facts:
  • An estimated 93% of people living in extreme poverty (defined as living on less than US$1.25 a day) are found in countries that are either fragile or environmentally vulnerable or both
  • 70% of infant deaths world-wide now occur in the most fragile countries
  • 84% of Canadians want Canada to be known as a global leader in finding solutions to poverty and protecting the world’s children.

How all Canadians can be humanitarians:
  • Make a donation to an aid agency program that helps people who are the most vulnerable and hardest to reach. Check out World Vision’s Raw Hope program to make an immediate impact.
  • Talk about it with friends and family, around the dinner table or on social media. Poll results show that Canadians want our country to be a global leader in helping to improve the lives of people in developing countries. Join the conversation and keep it going: #ShareHumanity