By Qasim Akinreti, PhD
Humanity First International is celebrating its Silver Jubilee, 25 years of serving Humanity on 19th September 2020.
The organisation was established in London, UK and registered in 1995 by then worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mirza Tahir Ahmad.
Humanity First is an international charity Organisation that provides disaster relief and long term development assistance to vulnerable communities in 52 countries across 6 continents.
The organisation is run by volunteers with diverse skills across the world and have access to thousands of extra volunteers worldwide. Volunteer staff in all areas (operations, expert medics, engineers and teachers) often pay their own expenses to support the international projects.
Similarly, the value of the aid delivered (projects as well as free man-hours of doctors, engineers and teachers) is greater than the value of donations received.
Uniquely, volunteer staff often pay their own international expenses.
As immediate disaster responses are concluded , the charity also often begins rehabilitation services through orphan care, water infrastructure and vocational training.
During the global lockdown effected by Coronavirus pandemic, Human First extended it relief project to addition 25 countries which make a total of 77 countries across 6 continents with over 5, 000 volunteers. This is the largest disaster relief project conducted by the organization.
The charity organization have assisted over 15 million families across Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, North America and South America with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), food, water and awareness on how to stay safe during the pandemic.
Despite restrictions easing around the COVID-19, Humanity First teams across Europe have been supporting people who are most vulnerable and those houseless with food and PPE. Teams are active in France, Belgium, United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Scotland, Georgia, Switzerland and Croatia.
In Nigeria, the charity organization donated food items to families and journalists. Also, Humanity First local team in Nigeria is in the process of freely distributing over 30,000 face masks to protect the public from the novel COVID-19.
The Humanity First team in Kenya have been providing emergency food, face masks and assisting communities through COVID-19. The teams have been working in Nairobi and towns near Eldoret. The teams have been providing hand sanitizer to Police Officers in Ndejje, Uganda to help them serve safely. With the support of Humanity First Switzerland, the team in Zimbabwe has started to distribute food packs for families outside Harare.
Other parts of Africa, local Humanity First teams are reaching out to help the elderly, orphans, people who are homeless and those with disabilities. Teams are ensuring they have food and hygiene products to be well-equipped during this pandemic.
The organisation gained Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
In Humanity First teams from across Europe responded to the 1999 and 2001 Izmit and Gujarat earthquake in western Turkey and India.
The organization continue with the disaster relief in 2004 during the civil war in Liberia, Humanity First was on the ground supporting victims across the country. With the drought in East Africa in 2011, Humanity First took aid convoys across Kenya serving around 63,300 people.
Fifteen years ago, the organization responded in New Orleans to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina working with partners on the ground.
When Hurricane Laura made landfall in Louisiana a few days ago, Humanity First US team was on the ground to assist affected families. Volunteers from the charity organization Canada busy at work in the food bank serving the Greater Toronto area as well as Guyana.
In recent months the team has been providing emergency food packs to vulnerable families across Malaysia, India and Indonesia.
As part of an effort to support Education in Africa, the organization set up ‘Live Appeal’ to build and transform schools, provide Scholarships, and send equipment & books for children on the continent. Also offering a range of vocational training courses including tailoring across Africa for two decades.
Humanity First has done tremendous work on the health sector, varying from free eye surgeries for over 784 people in Kano, Northern part of Nigeria, it was extended to Republic of Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Chad and Ghana. Donation of over 1,300 blood drive in Indonesia so far, Humanity First Clinic, Okooko, Oyo State, Nigeria and the running of Nasir Hospital in Guatemala for over two years. The charity organization is also running Al-Ain Mobile Eye Clinic in Frankfurt, Germany and two maternity clinics in rural Bangladesh.
In order to provide clean water for Africans in the rural areas, Humanity First has embarked on the massive sink of boreholes in Okooko, Igbo Oruwo, Oyo State, Ogun, Lagos,kogi, Kano, Bauchi, Borno, Nasarawa and Kwara states.
It was also reassuring that two cottage schools were opened at Igbo Oruwo and Iye Osa in Oyo state. HF Nigeria also run orphan cares under a foster parent model. Several medical camps are held annually and many IDP camps have benefitted from the organization’s free relief distribution. Flood victims have also been supported in Kogi and Edo states with relief materials.
Elsewhere in other parts of Africa , Sikasso region of Mali, Djalakoro village in Mali and spring water protection to Kapwati region of Uganda were iconic areas where Humanity First registered its presence .
A Democratic Nominee for the United States election, Qasim Rashid, who worked for the organization for over two decades tweeted that Humanity First delivered over 10 million meals during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
He tweeted: I’ve been privileged to work w/Humanity First for the better part of two decades. Hunger threatens our humanity & a recent report showed even in US, 1 in 8 Americans don’t have enough to eat. HF has delivered over 10M meals during this crisis. Join me in helping deliver 10M more”.
The concept of Humanity First originates from a desire to provide aid on the basis of need alone, irrespective of race, religion, colour or political allegiance.