Citizens of the world are increasingly demanding more from their leaders, organizations and businesses, and humanitarian organizations are no exception.
We expect them to have a sound moral compass because of the nature of their work. Yet financial abuses, arrogant CEOs and workers embellishing statistics of grant reports are just some of the reasons why these organizations find themselves facing increasing scrutiny and mistrust from the public.
But the misbehaving of a few shouldn’t make us lose our faith in humanity, in humanitarianism. Reform is necessary, but it needn’t be daunting. The solution is both surprisingly simple and intimate in nature: open up & get personal!
Large organizations often feel inaccessible and faceless; it is far too easy to forget that these organizations operate because of individuals with principles and ideals that were first envisioned, and then realized.
Indeed, when you grow to know the people who are involved—when you’ve heard their stories, seen their pictures, debated with them, learned from them—you are more likely as an individual to support their organization.
The media and communications landscape has changed. Internet and social media have made it easier than ever to access organizations and for organizations to access their benefactors but it’s necessary to keep these mediums truly social in their nature. You can “like” an organization’s page and receive updates from them, but you can’t hear the stories of workers, of life on the ground, of why these people are doing what they are doing. It shouldn’t be an organization-to-people conversation but a people-to-people one. That, is social.
Numbers, statistics, reports…what we need is more “face-to-face” interaction; more stories. Stories of hope, stories of despair, of loss, of feeling…
Numbers only go so far: what matters more are words. We know stories can inspire action amongst an overwhelmed and increasingly de-sensitized population, which is why we have created It’sOneHumanity (IOH).
IOH is a virtual space where humanitarians come to educate each other, share the work they do, connect, and act for humanity as a whole; it’s a social network seeking to democratize humanitarianism.
Its goal is to create and unite humanitarians around the world, engage them in discussion and facilitate the mutual education process to ultimately create powerful social movements that will help change the world for the better.
It’s easy to get lost behind words, but the meaning of “humanitarian” is nothing flashier than “anyone concerned with or seeking to promote human welfare.” Isn’t that you too?
Start exchanging with humanitarians like you on it’sonehumanity today!
Follow @ItsOneHumanity and founder @ElliottV on Twitter.
“Update: Inspired in great part by the article that we had running in AlertNews, Thomson Reuters’ Humanitarian News Service but updated, rearranged and edited for the @Xcapedcat blog.”