People might be forgiven for thinking that humanitarian workers are all saints, prophets and messengers of humanitarianism. I can assure you that is not the case. We are all human and because we are human, we make mistakes.
Humanitarian organisations, small or large, can dictate policies and build artificial boundaries between themselves and others. The contradiction lies in talking about building bridges with the community and actually doing it. We must build new bridges, not destroy existing ones. The humanitarian culture can have different clouds, atmospheres or temperatures. What topic could be hot in the bottom tiers could be very cold to subzero in the higher spheres.
It reminds me of a yoyo, going back and forth, or staged photo opportunities between politicians, when they smile at the camera, but not at each other.
The cultural change inside the humanitarian family needs to provide inclusivity, determination and willingness to build bridges. Without them, the body of humanitarian movement cannot be saved.
I say no to the yoyo. Who is with me?
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Dr Hany El Banna is the chairman of the International HIV Fund, president of The Humanitarian Forum, as well as the founder of Islamic Relief, Muslim Charities Forum, and Zakat House. He has visited the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries on behalf of these organisations and works tirelessly for those in need (The above blog initially featured in The Humanitarian Forum).