You are here:

Four women you need to know this World Humanitarian Day

Four women you need to know this World Humanitarian Day

Join us as we celebrate incredible women making change happen around the world.

19 August is World Humanitarian Day, a day when we share stories of the volunteers, staff, activists and aid workers supporting children and their families living through crisis – and working to build a better future.

A young woman in a yellow t-shirt

Kuisie, public health volunteer, Liberia 

Kuisie and her family were forced to flee their home in the Ivory Coast after conflict broke out.  

Worried about the health risks facing her fellow refugees in Liberia, she took part in our hygiene and sanitation training course – and is now a public health volunteer. 

“The lack of latrines and safe drinking water made life difficult for us,” says Kuisie, whose training means she can raise awareness in her community and share essential information about stopping the spread of coronavirus. 

Following the training, I will join my peers in designing awareness activities that will encourage people to adopt good hygiene and sanitation practices so they can live healthy lives.

Kuisie
A woman in a blue jacket in front of a brightly coloured wall

Alia, Plan International team member, Azraq refugee camp, Jordan 

"I am proud of myself and my family. We have endured all sorts of hardships. Fleeing war, we found ourselves homeless in no man's land, I thought this would last forever," says Alia. 

She and her family were forced to leave their home in Syria after the civil war broke out.  

Today, more than ten years on from the start of the conflict, she lives in the Azraq refugee camp and is an integral part of the Plan International team, supporting our programmes and leading a dedicated group of volunteers.

"I feel that I am making a difference,” Alia says. “A few years ago, people in the camp thought it was shameful for girls to leave the house, to take part in such programmes. Now the situation is different.  

“You should see the smiles on girls’ faces when they play football or sports. A couples of years ago, nobody would have thought this could happen.”

Girls are now able to face the inequalities that they experience, they are empowered and feel entitled to every bit of their rights. You can feel the confidence and the energy that these girls have, it is inspiring.

Alia
A girl standing with her arms folded

María Esperanza, environmental activist, Ecuador 

"We are the voices of Latin America and the Caribbean, in our continent we want to take responsibility for the environment, if we do not work together, young people and adults, we are not going to achieve anything." 

These were María Esperanza’s words at the COP25 Climate Summit in Madrid.  

She’s a member of our youth leadership programme in Ecuador and has taken part in national and international events to campaign for a better world – from COP25 to organising tree planting and beach clean-ups in her coastal community. 

As the world’s poorest regions are hit hardest by climate change, it’s girls who are affected the most. 

They’re already facing inequality and discrimination because of their gender, age and poverty. Now that’s being amplified by the impact of climate change, making it one of the most urgent crises facing girls today.

If we only think that the economy is the basis of our development, we will not be able to take care of our planet.

María Esperanza
A smiling woman in a blue and white top

Judisa, community nutrition worker, South Sudan 

Families in South Sudan have told us this year is the most severe period of hunger they’ve experienced in living memory.  

7.2 million people – approximately 60% of the population – are predicted to face acute food shortages in 2021, including 1.4 million children under the age of five and almost 500,000 women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Judisa, who’s worked as a nutrition volunteer for Plan International for the past two years, is responding to the crisis, walking for around three hours a day to and from our nutrition centre. 

"When I see children's faces, it hurts me a lot. Often they go hungry or eat less,” she says. “I thought I could support them through the nutrition centres, that’s why I joined Plan International as a nutrition worker."

If women are given opportunities they can also make a difference, which I want to show in my community through my work.

Judisa

REACHING CHILDREN FACING A RISK OF FAMINE

Help us take urgent action by supporting our Children's Emergency Fund

Latest stories for you

  • Show more