World Humanitarian Day is observed to acknowledge the efforts of the people who have risked and lost their lives supporting humanitarian causes. People have a different perception of superheroes, thanks to movies. In real life, the superheroes don’t wear capes but still dedicate their lives to humankind. They are not born with special powers but while growing up, they nurture abilities that enable them to save humanity.
These superheroes can be found in librarians, doctors, environmental saviours, or just good neighbours. In acknowledgement of World Humanitarian Day, we recognise some activists whose works and efforts make this world a better place to live in.
Nearly a decade ago, Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg learnt about climate crisis for the first time. Since 2011, she has come a long way as she embarked on a historic journey to start a revolution.
Evoking a billion voices from around the world, Greta’s revolt fused with her undeterred spirit that challenged the leaders all over the globe, seeking prompt action for climate change mitigation. What sets Greta apart is her fearless approach making her a perfect example of why people should have faith in themselves and that it is never too late to bring a change.
Young Amika George spent the last few years fighting for free sanitary products with her #FreePeriods campaign. She found this scope when she was still at school. Her campaign began after she came across a report that stated there was a section of girls who could not afford menstrual products and as a result, were missing school.
In addition to making menstrual products available for disadvantaged teenage girls, Amika’s campaign also aims at quashing the taboo around period talk.
A world record for the most participants in an underwater clean-up in 24 hours was created in June 2019. 633 divers at Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier broke the Guinness World Record for the largest underwater clean-up. Known as the Dixie Divers, the group attempted to remove over 544 kg (1,200 lb) of trash, debris, garbage, and fishing equipment.
The dump retrieved by the scuba diving participants largely comprised fishing line and lead weights used in fishing. The record-breaking clean-up was found to have a noticeable improvement in the quality of the water.
Michaela Mycroft was less than a year old when she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. But like they say, fighters can turn weaknesses into strengths. Mycroft used her disability to her advantage and has been working to make it a better world for people who face mobility challenges. She co-founded the Chaeli Campaign, which focuses on making South Africa a more accepting and accessible place for those who have special mobility needs.
Mycroft was recognised by Advocacy group World of Children as they named her one of its Hero Award Honorees.
Founder and director of Safari Doctors, Umra Omar is a community conservation strategist. She fronts the organisation that delivers primary medical care and health education to residents along Kenya’s coast. In 2016, during a visit to her family, she was introduced to a mobile project that became defunct because of the terrors caused by Al-Shabaab.
Umra, along with nurse Harrison Kalu, revived the French project and named it Safari Doctors. The group helps treat hundreds of patients across eight villages every month.