Photo: Klaus Bo Christensen

Everyone who can should do humanitarian work

The world is facing very many challenges right now, says Raphael Locham, der runs the office of Danish Demining Group (DDG) in Lodwar in Northern Kenya. Here he works intensively with mediation between local tribes, between residents and authorities and between different ethnic groups across the border between Kenya and Uganda.

Raphael Locham has worked in the humanitarian field for more than a decade and he has never regretted his choice:

"The wish to help the needy has been burning in me for many years and this field gave me an opportunity to work with the communities here. The work DDG does here revolves around peace building and mediation. The best days are those, where you can see the good effect your work is doing for the people in the communities."

One of the concrete examples, Raphael Locham mentions, is the peace building he and DDG has done between police and local residents in the areas around Turkana, where Lodwar is situated, and neighbouring Pokot. There used to be deep conflicts between them, but dialogue meetings, mediation and education of both residents and officers have made a great difference for the relationship between the two parties.

But the work of a humanitarian is not solely for those, who have made it their carriers, says Rahael Locham:

"There are very many challenges facing the world currently. The food crisis, the water crisis, conflict issues. It is the right time for the people, who are able, to give a hand and support those, who cannot. All of these people can make a difference in the humanitarian world."

World Humanitarian Day, August 19, marks the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, when 22 humanitarian workers were killed. Ever since, the date is an opportunity to pay respect to all humanitarian workers around the globe, but also to strengthen the understanding of and respect for International Humanitarian Law.