“What do you think the world needs more of?”

August 19, 2014

Every year on August 19 the United Nations honors the sacrifice and commitment of humanitarians dedicated to carrying out lifesaving work around the globe, often in places where others cannot or do not want to go.  World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity to celebrate the spirit of humanitarianism and the individuals who embrace it around the world.

This year, in its campaign to celebrate World Humanitarian Day, the United Nations poses the question, “What do you think the world needs more of?”

11-year-old Larissa Manrigue uses her violin to help people in the Philippines

To which Project HOPE enthusiastically responds, “Humanitarians working toward improving the health of people in need in every corner of the world!  Of course.”

Although we think the world needs more humanitarians, Project HOPE is honored to have many such individuals supporting our work in a variety of ways right now.  From medical volunteers working at our program sites and volunteer missions throughout the world to kind-hearted individuals, young and old, raising funds for our programs, large and small, Project HOPE is blessed to have the support of so many humanitarians.

Volunteers Sharon Redding, PhD and Linda Rice, RN in Wuhan, China

Take eleven-year-old Larissa Manrique of Mt. Airy, Maryland, for example.  The weekend before Thanksgiving last year, young Larissa braved the cold and played her violin outside stores full of holiday shoppers to raise money for Project HOPE’s Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts.  The young lady collected more than $2,000 to help Project HOPE send medicines, supplies and medical volunteers to rebuild health care capacity in typhoon-ravaged parts of the Philippines.

We are also fortunate to have such dedicated health professionals as Sharon Redding and Linda Rice, nurse educators willing to travel to remote corners of the world to share their expertise and improve the quality of care for those in need.  This year the two best friends and nursing experts spent six months teaching nursing students in Wuhan, China about ways to better care for the elderly in an aging country where nursing homes are sparse and typically lack trained health care professionals.

Dr. CJ Huang Statue Unveiled at Wuhan University

The late Dr. C.J. Huang is another example of the type of kind-hearted individuals supporting Project HOPE’s work.  The longtime HOPE donor bequeathed funds that will allow the Wuhan University HOPE School of Nursing to continue its lifesaving work well into the future.  This year the school honored C.J. Huang by unveiling a bust in his likeness at the school.

And finally Project HOPE’s humanitarian assistance and disaster relief work would not be possible without people like Project HOPE volunteer James Calderwood.  When Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in November 2013, James was one of Project HOPE’s first volunteers to arrive in the country, where he volunteered as a nurse in the Camotes Islands, an area badly damaged by the storm.  This summer this dedicated volunteer returned to the Philippines once again to help on the Pacific Partnership 2014 mission in Tacloban, earning the distinction of Volunteer of the Month for July 2014.

James Calderwood, Project HOPE Volunteer of the Month, July 2014

Without humanitarians willing to join Project HOPE in its mission to help others, our lifesaving work would not be possible.  Happy World Humanitarian Day!

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