In two decades, Humanity First has quickly grown into a leading international human development and disaster relief organization impacting more than 4.5 million lives. But when we were founded in the UK in 1995, it was to tackle just one terrible problem: The Bosnian Crisis.
With the breakdown and fracturing of former Yugoslavia, Bosnia was in the midst of a bloody civil war. Civilians were desperately in need of disaster relief supplies, and Bosniaks in particular were in crisis, under assault from a vicious campaign of ethnic cleansing by nationalist Serbian forces.
Volunteers from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community knew that this wasn’t a crisis that could wait. Refugees were traumatized, dislocated and in incredible danger. They desperately needed help, not just in the form of donations, but also on-the-ground support.
That belief in our obligation to safeguard human life and dignity — not just with words, but with immediate action — was the seed of Humanity First. And we’ve been honored to watch that seed grow into an international disaster relief and development organization, powered by a diverse group of volunteers united by the same vision.
Becoming a Sustainable Disaster Relief Organization
As Humanity First grew and developed as a disaster relief charity, we quickly learned that helping people survive was not enough — we needed to help them thrive.
While humanitarian aid can help alleviate suffering due to a particular disaster, the same conditions that made a community vulnerable in the first place can persist long after a crisis ends. We needed an approach to humanitarian aid that would help communities build a stronger, more stable and prosperous future.
Around 2000, Humanity First expanded its focus to include long-term projects around healthcare, education, vocational training, water and caring for orphans. At the same time, we began to grow our international disaster relief and development operations across sub-Saharan Africa, northern Latin America, Europe, the Caribbean, South Asia and Australasia. We also expanded our presence in developed countries, including founding Humanity First USA, which was incorporated in 2004 as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization (EIN# 20-0464012).
As a result of the hard work of our donors and volunteers, Humanity First has developed into a worldwide organization, registered in 53 countries across the world, and active on every continent but Antarctica.
Our non-sectarian, not-for-profit organization draws on a diverse community of volunteers, donors and partner organizations worldwide, whose dedication enables us to reduce suffering around the globe. At the same time, we maintain a deep bond with the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, whose over 200 national chapters enable us to respond quickly and strategically, doing the most good where it is needed.
Join One of the Leading International Development Organizations
Today, Humanity First is able to do more good than ever, with our worldwide network, long-term commitment and the skills of our members and corporate partners. We bring together experts across diverse fields like education, medicine, construction and logistics in order to solve complex challenges — all in the name of lifting humanity up.
Our volunteers have mobilized to help alleviate some of the worst natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina in the US, and the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami. We’re also committed to solving long-term problems, like the lack of educational opportunities or access to quality healthcare. Our nine schools in Mali, Guatemala, Haiti, and Tanzania provide education to thousands of students, and our Nasir Hospital project in Guatemala helps provide high quality medical care to an underserved population of more than 2.5 million.
With our resources, experience and a backbone of dedicated volunteers, Humanity First is able to ensure your donation is used in the spirit you’ve donated it: to alleviate human suffering and provide a brighter future for those most in need. Approximately 90 cents out of every dollar we receive goes directly to our programs.