Imagine (UNICEF: World Version)
You may say I am a dreamer; I will say that I am a different drum.
You may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one. There are thousands around the world ready to respond to the Covid-19 crisis. When I was thinking of writing this homage to all the humanitarians, who stayed and delivered, these words of Martin Luther King came to my mind. MLK speech from the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church was about the Drum Major instincts, ‘a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade. This could lead to problems if wrongly used, but it could also lead to greatness. The greatness comes from humility in serving. As King put it, the priorities are reordered, and people can ‘keep feeling the need for being first but I want you to be first in love.’
I feel humanitarians are front liners, real life heroes. They are the first in emergency responses worldwide with health-workers. Where there is war, conflict, flooding, bombing, massive explosion, the UN agencies, and international and national NGOs are ready to bring food, water, shelters, peace-keeping missions, etc. Humanitarians put the Love of other humans at the centre of their work.
The heightened crisis of Covid-19 has brought new challenges for humanitarian workers, while they deliver emergencies services to the people of concerns. The Humanitarians are working hard in low-income or middle-income countries serving the populations during the Covid-19 pandemic. At times, they are risking their lives; their work is invaluable. Without their emergency services, many will go without food, proper health care, water, housing, medicines, livelihood, cash grants, educations, etc.
It is essential to be grateful to the humanitarians working hard to deliver good quality services in hard to reach areas. Among the millions who contracted Covid-19, some were humanitarians. Some colleagues, in the call of service and duties, are ill, were ill or have given their lives while saving the lives of others; for all those who provide humanitarian aids in this time of the pandemic, I wish to empathise and express my most profound solidarity and recognise the brotherhood of all nations, men and women in the fight against this pandemic.
King asked to be remembered as one who “tried to give his life serving others. King concluded “Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice,” King intoned. “Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter”. Many humanitarians are pursuing the dreams of King and carrying on the fight for justice, peace, equality everywhere in the world by giving lifesaving assistance to fellow humans.
I wish to imagine a world where all people live in harmony, peace and put Love first. The greatness of Humanitarian is in their service to others.
In conclusion, on a personal note, I wish to say Goodbye to a fellow humanitarian. Michael died due to Covid-19 while delivering humanitarian assistance, in Africa. May his soul rest in peace. A colleague and brother, he was a great Country director. He has not lived in vain. He stayed and delivered until the end of his life. The greatest among us are those who serve. As in the words of MLK I will remember Michael as one who gave his life serving others. (Rest in Peace, Brother)
For all others, please follow WHO guidelines on Covid-19 while delivering humanitarian aids.
PS. I love the UNICEF rendition of the song: Imagine. Among the guest-singers, one my life heroes, former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, a real humanitarian and a man who did his best to make this world safer. For me, Ban Ki-moon is a diplomat, humanitarian who dedicated his life to better the lives of fellow human being, a real-life hero. It is beautiful to imagine a world where all the people are living in peace and harmony.