World Humanitarian Day was, yesterday, commemorated with a Thanksgiving Church Service at the Methodist Church, Martey-Tsuru, East Airport, Accra, in memory of the late President, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills and all who have died in the service of humanity.
It was organized by the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) in collaboration with the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Ghana.
World Humanitarian Day is a global observance instituted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 2008 and was first marked in August 2009.
The date of August 19 is the anniversary date of the 2003 Canal Hotel bombing in Bagdad, Iraq, where 22 people, including the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Iraq, Sergio Vieira, lost their lives.
This year’s World Humanitarian Day is on the theme “I Was Here”. The theme is based on a song by Beyonce Knowles, part of which states “I was here, I lived, I loved. I was here, the heart I have touched will be the proof that I lived, that I made a difference and this world will see that I was here”.
The song is explained to mean that we should all give people a reason to live instead of just living.
In a statement, Rev. Dr Nii Amoo Darku, a member of the Council of State and Chairman of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Risk Management (CCRM), urged all Ghanaians to consciously try to help someone or strive to make that positive difference because humanitarianism was everyone’s business.
Rev. Dr Darku explained that World Humanitarian Day offered the opportunity for the public to learn about the humanitarian community, what aid workers did and the challenges they faced.
He said the Day also offered the chance for non-governmental and international bodies including UN agencies to demonstrate their humanitarian activities and pay respect to those who had died or been injured in the course of their humanitarian work.
For his part, Mr Kofi Portuphy, National Co-ordinator of NADMO, described the late President as very humanitarian who had good plans for NADMO.
In a tribute, children of the Trinity Methodist Church Sunday School said even though the demise of Prof. Mills was a big loss to the nation, they took consolation in the belief that the late President was resting peacefully in the bosom of the Almighty God.
Preaching the sermon based on chapter 6, verse 53 to 56 of the Gospel according to St. John, Very Rev. Anthony Brown, Assistant Superintendent of Prisons and Chaplain of the Ghana Prisons Service, said the Lord’s Supper, also called the Last Supper, Eucharistic Service or the Holy Communion, was a sacrament.
Very Rev. Brown said Sacrament meant an outward visible act that conveyed the grace of God while Communion referred to coming to share fellowship by drinking and eating together.
He said the late President Mills had stood for togetherness and unity in peace and urged all Ghanaians to remain united and be at peace with each other.
An appeal for funds yielded two thousand, seven hundred and eighty-six Ghana Cedis (GH₵2,786.00). The amount includes a donation of one thousand Ghana Cedis (GH₵1,000.00) from NADMO which has also pledged an additional 500 bags of cement and 40 packets of iron sheets.
Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)