India education project

Am I a humanitarian?

Marcus marks World Humanitarian Day by reflecting on what it means to be a humanitarian in 2020.

By Marcus Frost, Partnership Leader – Marketing and Communications

I am an Android man. After working in the mobile phone industry for 10 years, getting to know customers and the ins and outs of mobile technology and smartphones, I feel strongly about the kind of phone I use.

After three years in World Vision, I’ve become more comfortable thinking of myself as a humanitarian. I would haven’t said it three years ago, or even one year ago, as I thought this was a word only bestowed on my amazing colleagues who put their lives on the line to make sure vulnerable children and their families have access to life-saving essentials. In Lebanon. In India. In South Sudan. In Afghanistan. In Venezuela.

But I have seen and realised how important it is that each of us plays our part, whether we support our work on the ground financially, or work in policy change, in finance, IT, administration, marketing and communications – or on the frontlines in the world’s most dangerous places.

I am a small but necessary part of World Vision’s vital humanitarian operations. Just as you are. As we are reminded in 1 Corinthians 12:12 (Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ), the different and diverse constituent parts are all necessary for the successful running of an organisation such as World Vision. And when we work in unity, magic happens.

During COVID-19 it has become apparent that we are all humanitarians, as we are all concerned for humankind – just think of our frontline colleagues, and those in medical and first-responder roles, putting themselves in danger to relieve suffering and save lives, or think of the acts of kindness from our neighbours and community as people stepped up to collect groceries and prescriptions for people they’d never met before. These hidden heroes, these real life heroes, are reason to feel optimistic about the future. They’re good reason to feel optimistic right now!

Since the early days of my time with World Vision, I have been in no doubt that our supporters should be considered amongst the best of humanitarians. They constantly, generously give their time and resources to relieve the suffering of children in places thousands of miles away. They believe and commit to making a difference from a distance.

I believe being a humanitarian means caring what happens to others simply because it is the right thing to do. It means using the gifts and talents and privilege you have to try and make life better for others. You don’t have to be perfect to be a humanitarian, I think you just need to be committed to finding ways to improve the lives of vulnerable children and families. I am, and I am proud to take a moment today to celebrate the humanitarians I have met and have the privilege of working alongside. Even if they do prefer iPhones.

Marcus Frost is World Vision's Partnership Leader for Global Marketing and Communications. Follow him @MarcusFrost