In 11 days, World Humanitarian Day Campaign draws close to breaking social media record

An intercontinental campaign focused on breaking a social media record by attempting to attain 1 billion people to celebrate World Humanitarian Day on August 19, has passed the 100 million mark in just about 10 days, a major milestone.

Social media has become a humanitarian tool a number of organisations are now using to get a clear picture of the situations on the ground through crowdsourcing as well as for awareness campaigns. The UN is using Thunderclap, a social networking service that helps users focus on voices of their supporters on a specific date, to promote the campaign.

The campaign leapt into momentum after Beyonce’s awe-inspiring live performance on Friday evening at United Nations General Assembly with her song “I Was Here.” An estimated 1,200 celebrities, fans, dingitaries and humanitarian workers attended the event, according to World Humanitarian Day (WHD).

The song’s video, WHD says, will premiere on August 19. Queen of Grammy Awards Beyoncé Knowles and Diane Warren, a songwriter, donated the song to the campaign.

WHD’s campaign, launched less than a fortnight ago, is currently an elementary source of sensation to the general public and high-profile celebrities alike.

Speaking at the event, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos said: “Everyone can be a humanitarian. All it takes is one act to help someone else. That’s the spirit of people helping people.”

The event, hosted by television journalist Anderson Cooper, also showcased the works of humanitarian aid workers from across the globe.

Cooper later in the evening interviewed former child soldier Ishmael Beah, who fought in Sierra Leone’s civil war.

Others interviewed included Pernille Ironside, a UNICEF child protection officer, New York photographer Erin Dinan, whose nonprofit organization One Sandwich at a Time feeds people living on the streets and Laurent Vieira de Mello, whose father Sergio died along with 21 other humanitarians in an attack on the UN in Baghdad in 2003, according to WHD.

“The stories shared on Friday night served as important reminders of how crucial humanitarian work is around the world,” says David Droga, Founder and Creative Chairman, Droga5, “We now have an opportunity to celebrate these efforts by sending the biggest social media message for good in history. There’s no time to waste.”

In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly declared the nineteenth day of August World Humanitarian Day. The day, celebrated each year across the world, aims to recognize individuals who put their lives to risk in helping others. According to some sources, the day seeks to remember the 22 people killed in 2003, in a bomb attack on UN offices in Baghdad.

With just about six days remaining, the campaign’s partners such as Droga5, an advertising agency, Parkwood Entertainment, production company Ridley Scott & Associates, director Kenzo Digital, Sony Music Entertainment and the humanitarian community have vowed to call on their global affiliates to ensure the world takes notice on World Humanitarian Day.

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