Giving back to the community - a humanitarian response

Humanitarian heroes take up the call to improve the welfare of others. Giving back to the community is their mandate, working to bring about sustainable social reform.

Fundraising team
girl-on-a-swing
UNICEF South Africa/2014/Schermbrucker
13 July 2020

The world around us harbours much disparity, inequality and poverty, which calls for a response. Humanitarian organizations are involved in the background and on the frontlines, concerned with improving the welfare of others and taking up the call to help alleviate suffering. Giving back to the community is their mandate - actively working to bring about change and social reform. That is a big ask!

When it comes to giving back to the community, the integrity of a humanitarian organization’s mission is at stake. The litmus test for humanitarian authenticity is simple:  there is no place for prejudice on grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious, national or ethnic divisions. The goal is to save lives, promote the wellbeing of those less fortunate, relieve suffering, and maintain human dignity. This is a huge but necessary task!

A personal humanitarian call

Giving back to the community, however, begins with individual heroes. Empathy, compassion and concern for others are part of our humanity. Mandela Day offers each one of us, as South Africans, a timeous opportunity to heed Madiba’s call, ‘Our society needs to re-establish a culture of caring,’ which starts with each beating heart - no matter age, gender or ethnicity. 

Caring is what makes us human, and caring for others is what enables us to change the world. This is not idealism, it is simply seeing the need of a fellow human being, and being prepared to help and make a meaningful difference.

quote-by-Graca-Machel
UNICEF South Africa

Each one of us has the power and opportunity to positively impact the life of another. It could be a one-off donation, a monthly pledge donation, volunteering our time, or offering resources or services. That is what giving back to the community looks like - it’s all about an ‘I can help’ mindset and attitude. 

An organization’s humanitarian response

Formal charity organizations and established NPOs all contribute in giving back to the community in ways that you and I, as individuals, do not have capacity or means to do. Large humanitarian organizations have the infrastructure, partnerships and resources to not only offer relatively large-scale relief solutions but include a philanthropic vision towards sustainable solutions and working to improving social problems in the long term.  

In a country like South Africa, immediate areas of focus generally include hygiene and sanitation, health and nutrition, education, and protection of people’s rights. Offering relief and positive change in these basic areas involve ongoing financial donor support, advocacy and resources. That is what humanitarian organizations are equipped to do. By partnering with individuals, giving back to the community becomes a meaningful exercise.  

Charity and humanitarian organizations also play a huge role in being ready to step in and provide shorter-term disaster/emergency relief and crisis care situations including natural disasters and pandemics. 

UNICEF South Africa’s humanitarian mission

UNICEF South Africa is a humanitarian organization that focuses on improving children’s lives and the communities in which they live through advocacy, social initiatives and emergency relief programmes. 

Protecting the rights of every child, and helping to reimagine a better future for each child, is what makes UNICEF South Africa a humanitarian hero. 

Find out how you, as an individual, can play a role in supporting UNICEF South Africa and offering hope to children who need to most.