When a disaster strikes, quick response can drastically shrink the human toll, and help the community recover more quickly. However, even if you’re quick to respond, a couple weeks of relief work is rarely enough to get a community back to its baseline — much less ensure it is better prepared to face the next disaster. Both man-made disasters like the Liberian civil war and natural disasters like Hurricane Maria can devastate and traumatize cities, regions and entire countries in ways that take years to rebuild.
As part of a global network of volunteer-driven national organizations, Humanity First USA provides crucial disaster relief supplies and on the ground assistance. Leveraging the generous support of our donors and selfless work of volunteers, we provide quick and effective medical aid, food, shelter and other supplies in 12 countries around the world.
Our commitment to ongoing development multiplies the effectiveness of our disaster relief. It ensures your charitable relief donations go beyond providing short term aid, building a better future up from the rubble.
Helping Wherever Help is Needed
Humanity First has focused on meeting the immediate needs of vulnerable communities. We were originally founded in 1995 as a way to help the victims of the Serbian crisis. Our founding members from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community weren’t satisfied simply donating to a charitable organization. Bozniaks were facing massacres, rape, brutalization and dislocation in a horrifying campaign of ethnic cleansing carried out by nationalist Serbian forces. Creating Humanity FIrst gave our founders a way to help quickly, saving lives and providing emergency food, shelter and medical care.
Humanity First has since grown into a worldwide organization, with chapters in 53 countries, but we’ve stayed true to our roots as a volunteer driven organization. Because the vast majority of our work is done by volunteers, over 90% of our funds can go directly to providing disaster relief and other services wherever they’re most needed.
A Commitment to Helping Humanity
Our volunteer and communal focus has another major benefit for disaster relief: we’re already on the ground. Wherever disaster strikes, there are almost always Humanity First volunteers relatively close — often in the same country or even the same region.
Those volunteers are able to quickly organize with local and international volunteers, donors and organizations to set up medical clinics, shelters, kitchens, and other resources in the wake of a disaster.
Many of our volunteers also bring professional skills in areas like medicine and engineering, as well as previous disaster relief experience, allowing our teams to be even more effective. That combination of local presence, international organization and professional skills has enabled us to help over 618,000 people in the last three years alone. But while many humanitarian organizations only work in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, for Humanity first, that’s just the beginning.
From Disaster Relief to Disaster Prevention
Poor communities are particularly vulnerable to disasters. Decrepit buildings, crumbling and absent infrastructure and lack of resources can greatly increase the toll of a natural disaster. And without the resources to rebuild, the community is usually left even more vulnerable to future calamities — even when there’s a strong disaster relief response to meet the immediate needs of the survivors.
That’s why Humanity First USA doesn’t leave as soon as the worst is over. We continue to work in countries like Haiti, Mexico and Burkina Faso, long after the disasters that brought us. Our volunteers are still in the field, building new schools and hospitals, providing safe, reliable sources of clean water and partnering with local organizations to meet the unique needs of each community.
With your help, a disaster can become a new beginning — the start of a journey to a more resilient community, and a more prosperous world.