Powerful Quotes from World Humanitarian Day

This year we were honored to attend World Humanitarian Day at the United Nations on August 19th. Leaders from the UN, actors, musicians, authors, and advocates gathered in the General Assembly Hall under the theme, “One Humanity”, celebrating the work of humanitarians around the world and the spirit that drives them. Here are a few quotes on education and humanitarianism from the evening.

If you missed the the event, you can view the program in its entirety on UN Web TV.


“On this World Humanitarian Day, let us recognize the world as it is, and it is a troubled place. But let us never forget to strive for the world as it should be. To reduce the gap between the world as it is and the world as it should be is the mission of the United Nations and I believe the mission for all of us…” –Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General



“Crises hit everyone hard, but they hit women and girls differently and often disproportionately to men, largely because they heighten the preexisting discrimination, marginalization, and exclusion that pervade already in societies. This means that when a crisis hits, girls are far more likely to be denied access to schooling and be put instead into exploitation, be it child labor or forced early marriage.” –Natalie Dormer, Actress (Game of Thrones)



“We cannot measure our humanity, but we can act on it. Our humanity is that glowing center in all of us. It is what makes us speak up about an injustice, even when that injustice does not personally affect us. It is what makes us aware that we are better off if our fellow human beings are better off.” –Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Author



“Today 75 million children in the world cannot access school due to crisis, trapping them in cycles of poverty and discrimination, and denying them their right to achieve their full potential…I urge you to provide the diplomatic and financial support these organizations [United Nations, NGOs, foundations] need to carry out their work.” Mohammed Assaf, Singer and Youth Ambassador for UNRWA; Translated by Yasmine Al Massri, Actress (Quanitco)



The program closed with powerful words from Hala Kamil, a Syrian advocate and refugee, whose family was spotlighted in the Frontline documentary, “Children of Syria“. Kamil, who has endured unimaginable hardship, gave the greatest call to action:

“Hold on to that which unites us now more than ever: love, respect, freedom.” –Hala Kamil, Syrian Advocate and Refugee; Translated by Yasmine Al Massri, Actress (Quanitco)