A humanitarian can be defined as someone who engages in promoting human welfare, bringing social reforms and one who cannot stand human suffering on the grounds of gender, sexual, religious or national divisions. Their goal is usually to save lives, help those that are suffering and uphold human dignity. This is achieved by actions such as providing food and shelter, rescuing those that are in dangerous situations, catering for the refugees and helping those that are affected by natural disasters. A humanitarian seeks to understand loss, pain and fear that is being experienced in a society and thinks of a solution that is manageable to bring happiness to those in need.
Committing yourself to being a humanitarian should be geared towards making a difference in the world to cause lives of people living there to be better and have hope but should not be for seeking glory or praises. A humanitarian should portray some social traits such as being kind, patient, empathetic, friendly and helpful. One should be ready to work anywhere in the world that is in need of your help. Therefore it’s upon one to acknowledge that every human being regardless of their location is valuable and matters.
As a humanitarian funding is an essential condition that one needs to consider so as to be effective. This is having the assurance of the availability of sufficient financial resources to be able to meet the needs that one has committed to addressing. One is hence advised to have multiple sources of funds that one can depend on to achieve the desired goal.
Coordination of every activity happening on the ground is such a vital element to adopt as humanitarian. There are a number of humanitarian actions being done in our communities from time to time hence there would be the possibility of overlapping of efforts. Therefore there is a need for one to analyse, get accurate information, and data on the needs and efforts that are on the ground. This helps one to use the available resources and funds efficiently.
For humanitarian to be effective, it is also supposed to be principle-based. There are four guiding principles of humanitarian namely humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. These should be well known and embraced by a humanitarian to remain relevant. The principle of humanity helps to ensure that every human being is treated with dignity and equally in all circumstances to be able to save their lives, helping them while giving them the due respect they deserve. Principle of impartiality emphasizes that there should be no discrimination to anyone on the basis of aspects such as race, gender, nationality, religion and political opinion. Neutrality requires humanitarian not to take sides during hostile situations or be engaged in any occurrence that seems controversial. On the principle of independence a humanitarian should be ready to formulate and bring to action their own policies that are independent of those of the government. These are principles that every humanitarian should respect in every action that is undertaken.
It is important as humanitarians to brainstorm on recovery strategies as early as possible. This is where you develop a long term perspective that will be a resolution to the community years to come. The aim should not just to meet their immediate need but to leave an impact that would make them independent.