Humanity First has now been caring for humanity for a quarter of a century.
That’s 25 years of rushing to the aid of communities ravaged by wars, earthquakes, hurricanes and droughts around the world. 25 years of bringing water to the thirsty, medicine to the sick and education and training to those lacking opportunity. And 25 years enabling our volunteers and donors to do the most good, while empowering the communities we serve to grow and prosper.
In that time, we’ve grown from a small, UK-based disaster relief organization to an international organization with over 50 national chapters and [Number] members, helping out wherever there is a need for aid around the world.
To celebrate our accomplishments and the many volunteers and donors who made them possible, here’s the story of our first 25 years in the field.
Humanity First: a Tradition of Selfless Service
Humanity First first took shape in 1994, and was officially founded in 1995, under the guidance of Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the fourth Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Mirza Tahir Ahmad envisioned an organization where volunteers and donors from all religions, races and creeds could serve those in need — not out of personal interest, but out of duty to put the good of humanity ahead of personal interests and desires
In 1995, the community made that vision a reality, incorporating Humanity First as a non-profit the UK. In the first 5 years, we served primarily disaster relief, from helping the victims of ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, to aiding the community of Izmit, Turkey after a devastating earthquake in 1999.
Disaster relief has remained a major focus of Humanity First. However, by the end of the 1990s we saw that it wasn’t enough. In 2001, we established our first vocational training schools in Burkina Faso and Gambia, while continuing to address disasters such as the Liberian civil war and open new chapters around the world.
Humanity First USA — a Legacy of Service
The story of Humanity First USA follows the story of the organization as a whole. Founded in 2004 in the same spirit of selfless service, we were quickly called upon to address humanitarian disasters. In 2005 alone, we were called on to aid the victims of flooding in Guyana, Hurricane Katrina and a devastating earthquake killing nearly 90,000 in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan.
However, even in the midst of those crises, we were working with the global Humanity First community to grow beyond disaster relief and provide longterm prosperity to underserved communities. With our partners, Humanity First USA began building new hospitals, training centers and schools in earnest, as well as fixing water pumps and providing other desperately needed infrastructure upgrades. Thanks to the dedication of our members, those projects have continued to grow and flourish, helping millions around the world.
The Future of Humanity First
In many ways, the challenges the world faces are even more daunting than they were 25 years ago. Progress against poverty has stalled in many regions, and climate change and ballooning inequality are worsening the effects of poverty and disaster.
But there is hope too. We’ve had the privilege of bringing together thousands of volunteers and donors from all backgrounds, who have inspired us with their energy and passion, and brought health, education and greater prosperity to underserved communities around the world.
We know we’ve made a difference. And with your help, we know Humanity First can do even more over the next 25 years.