"Every year on August 19th we mark World Humanitarian Day in honor of aid workers, who have lost their lives in the line of duty. We commemorate their sacrifice and reaffirm our commitment to the lifesaving work that humanitarians carry out around the world every day, often in difficult and dangerous circumstances, where others cannot or do not want to go." -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
The United Nations World Humanitarian Day is also an opportunity to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the globe. It's a global celebration of people helping people whether across the world or next door.
In honor of World Humanitarian Day, I've been asked to share my story of the extracurricular volunteer work I do. And we really hope to hear your stories in return! Share with us what your passion is if you're involved in projects that help make the world a better place -- your volunteer efforts, what organizations you support -- in the comments section at the bottom of this blog. It's your time do a shout-out to any volunteer groups you're involved in and to share some of your group's goals.
I'll get it started.
Education = power
The power of education has always impressed me. Education is the key to unlocking potential because it creates the opportunity to realize our dreams. This passion for education is why I enjoy working on events, such as the Embedded Systems Conference and ARM TechCon, and collaborating with the esteemed members of our industry curating the educational programs we offer at those events to engineers around the world.
In my free time I tutor children at Rosa Parks Elementary School in San Francisco through Reading Partners. My experience working one-on-one with eight year olds supporting them in improving their reading skills and watching their persistence and determination to learn, has inspired me more than I can describe. So this year I've decided to take on a slightly larger volunteer commitment in providing quality, accessible education for less fortunate children.
I am volunteering with a San Francisco based non-profit, Mama Hope. Mama Hope's mission is to directly improve communities across the globe.
As a volunteer with Mama Hope, I am collaborating with the leaders of a community in Tanzania, Africa, to plan, fundraise for, and build the final sustainability project that will support their school in offering education for the community's most vulnerable children for generations to come. The community leaders value education above all because they believe it provides opportunity for a better future. This is why they have worked so hard since 2003 to build the school that is thriving in their community today. The school started as a classroom under a tree and today they serve close to 300 children each year!
Click on Rockiel's photo to view more images from the school.
Rockiel, a budding engineer, first learned about electricity when solar panels were installed on the computer lab's roof.
(Source: Mama Hope)
And among these children is one budding electrical engineer, Rockiel. Electricity was brought to St. Timothy's for the first time last year via solar panels for a brand new computer lab! Rockiel, was so impressed by the electricity that he spent his entire Spring break searching for old wires and batteries to create light in his room at home. After a few attempts, his room illuminated with power. Rockiel's father saw this passion and aptitude in his son and is now working extra hours so that he can provide additional studies in electronics for his son.
In September I will take my annual vacation and travel to Tanzania where I will work side by side with the community leaders to initiate the building of a Community Center/Dining Hall at St. Timothy's School. I've set a goal to raise $20,000 to get this project underway! To read more about this project and how you may participate, please visit www.stayclassy.org/erincommunitycenter.
I believe that humanitarian acts happen all the time, every day, all around us. The advancement of technology and international business highlights the growing importance of reaching across borders to embrace our global community. My wish for this humanitarian day is to connect the engineers in our community with the future engineers of Tanzania!
What are you doing to help build the future? Share your stories and plug your favorite groups below.
—Erin LeMoine is a conference program manager for UBM Tech's Electronics Group events, such as the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) and EE Live. EE Times is owned by UBM Tech and ESC/EE Live are EE Times' live events.