World Humanitarian Day Multimedia Resources and Lesson Plan 

The theme for World Humanitarian Day 2023 is it takes a village to support a person in a humanitarian crisis.

World Humanitarian Day Lesson Plan
Credit: MY HERO

2022 MY HERO International Film Festival Humanitarian Award                      Building a Shower Trailer for Chico's Houseless on a Budget... of Love!

The following short film and story documents humane solutions to our world's many challenges. Imagine not being able to take a shower for... a year...?!? Not being able to shower brings endless consequences for both the health and the morale but you'd think we probably could do something to address this dire public health crisis today.  See what happened in Chico, California.

Building a Shower Trailer for Chico's Houseless on a Budget... of Love!

By: Respectful Revolution
This video is one of the latest from the Respectful Revolution project that is dedicated to documenting humane solutions to our world's many challenges.

'Building a Shower Trailer for Chico's Houseless on a Budget... of Love!'

By: Deborah Neff, MY HERO Staff writer

The following films, stories and artwork honor young heroes working to overcome the consequences of the climate emergency for the world's most vulnerable people and ensure that their voices are heard.

Slater Kemker Jewell is a young filmmaker and climate activist.  She is the director of Youth Unstoppable, a documentary telling the untold stories of youth on the front lines of climate change refusing to let their futures slip away. (An Inconvenient Youth was retitled Youth Unstoppable.) 

Slater Unstoppable

Produced by:MY HERO
Director Slater Jewell Kemker is a filmmaker and environmental activist whose films document the environmental youth movement.

Slater Jewell-Kemker, Director, An Inconvenient Youth

By: The My Hero Project

Slater Jewell-Kemker is an award-winning student reporter and filmmaker who works for a better environment and for peace. 

Off the Grid: A Climate Solution

Produced by:Slater Jewell-Kemker

Two girls go to Nepal to build a shelter that will collect fresh water and solar energy in hopes of solving community problems. (2:15 minutes run time)

An Inconvenient Youth - Cancun

Produced by:Slater Jewell-Kemker
Youth activists are exasperated by a lack of action from world leaders regarding climate change.

Greta Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist who is internationally known for challenging world leaders to take immediate action for climate change mitigation.

Greta Thunberg

By: Xenia Shin
Climate Activist and Leader of the Global Youth Climate Movement

Greta Thunberg Collage

By: Amaya Holland


Discussion Questions

1. Why is the work that Slater and Greta doing important?

2. Why is it important for young people to shine a light on the effects of climate change?

3. What can you do?

4. Who else is working towards improving the effects of climate change for the world's most vulnerable people and areas of the world? Share their story with MY HERO using the Create Program.


World Humanitarian Day also pays tribute to those who risk their lives in humanitarian service and to rally support for people affected by crises around the world.

The following stories, art, and film are appropriate for Upper Elementary, Middle School and High School Students

Students read the story about Iqbal Masih, a child from Pakistan who was sold into slavery by his father when he was 4 and escaped slavery at the age of 10. He began speaking internationally and was awarded the Reebok Human Rights Youth Award when he was 12 years old.  

Iqbal Masih

By: Stephanie and Audrey<br> from Forest Hills

Iqbal Masih was a brave advocate for child labor laws in Pakistan.

Iqbal Masih by Sydney from Laguna Beach

Iqbal Masih was a Pakistani Christian boy who became a symbol of abusive child labour in the developing world

Students watch the following film and read the story to learn about Vivienne Harr who, at the age of 8, founded Make a Stand Lemon-Aid to raise funds for organizations that fight child slavery.


Producer: Diane Namm

Young Vivienne Harr was deeply affected by the story of children suffering from human trafficking. So she founded Make a Stand Lemon-aid to raise fund for organizations that fight child slavery.

Vivienne Harr

By: Sue Glader

Vivienne Harr founded Make a Stand Lemon-aid to raise fund for organizations that fight child slavery.


Discussion Questions:

1. Where does child slavery still exist today? What type of work are children forced to do?

2. What organizations are working to end child slavery in different parts of the world?

3. Identify people working to shine a light on the fact that child slavery still exists today and trying to put an end to this.  Share their story with MY HERO using the Create Program.


Listen and Read Along: Stories with Text and Audio

Doctors Without Borders

By: Nathaniel from Los Angeles

Doctors Without Borders gives medical care to people in 70 countries worldwide.

Malala Yousafzai

By: Jane Wallace

Malala Yousafzai speaks out for the rights of girls to have an education. This story has both text and audio. 

Students analyze the following portraits of Humanitarian Heroes. Note the use of shadow, color and text.

Students create their own artwork of a humanitarian hero and submit it to MY HERO. 

Submit your artwork to MY HERO to be considered for our art contests or to be featured on our gallery homepage.

Sister Soeur Emmanuelle

By: Ben Heine

This nun devoted herself to service and gave aid the poor in Egypt and Turkey.

Mother Teresa

By: Marilyn Huerta

Mother Teresa is celebrated for her faith and her work with India's most vulnerable populations.

Desmond Tutu

By: Steph Eberlein, Joe Lindley, Jake Fusilier

Desmond Tutu is celebrated as an advocate of love, respect and inclusion.


By: Matt Nesvadba

Bono of U2 has helped raise millions of dollars to benefit victims of humanitarian crises around the globe.

Malala Yousafzai

By: Siyona Bhandari

The Future is Female!

By: Joshua Urevbu
Celebrating Malala's activism for young women.

The following films and stories are appropriate for middle and high school students. 

MY HERO recommends students watch the following films about humanitarians providing shelter and aid to those affected by war in South Sudan and Somalia or bringing medical assistance to those in need.

Please note: Defying Death in South Sudan includes some violence and may not be appropriate for all students.

Do you know anyone who does humanitarian work? Share his or her story with MY HERO.

Jon Rose: Waves for Water

Produced by:Aaron Flynn & HURLEY

Waves for Water's mission is to get access to clean water to those in need around the world, in areas such as Puerto Rico, Haiti, Sierra Leone, Nepal and more.

Defying Death in South Sudan

Produced by:Francis Mead

Featuring Humanitarian Hero Award-Winner Ken Payumo. This film may not be appropriate for younger viewers due to violence. (7:24 min)

Light of the Himalaya

Produced by:Michael Brown and David D'Angelo

This spectacular film follows the work of doctors who provide eye surgeries to the people of Nepal.

Bosna Bakery

Produced by:Adis Guso
A moving essay about a bakery in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, that gives food to the poor.

Watch the following film and read the story to learn about Dr. Hawa Abdi who opened her family's land to  refugees during the civil war in Somalia, providing safety and healthcare.

Vital Voices: Hawa Abdi

Produced by:Aaron Kisner

Dr. Hawa Abdi is Somalia's first female gynecologist. When the central government collapsed in 1989, her one-room clinic on her family farm began housing people fleeing the fighting. (3:57)

Dr. Hawa Abdi - The Mother of Hope Village

By: Nicole
Dr. Hawa Abdi, Somalia's first female gynecologist, turned her family's land into a hospital, school and nutrition center focused on women and children.


Discussion Questions:

1. Clean water and access to food are important for all people. Identify places in the world that do not have easy access to clean drinking water. What are the obstacles they face? What organizations or people are trying to help? 

2. Where are there places that war or natural disasters cause hunger issues around the world? What is being done to help?

3. Refugees face many dangerous challenges in countries like the Sudan and Somalia as demonstrated by the film Defying Death in South Sudan and the work of Hawa Abdi. What challenges do refugees face today and where are they located? Who is assisting in this crisis. 

4. Identify humanitarians who are making a positive difference today. Share their story with MY HERO using the Create Program.


Learning Outcomes

Students will identify humanitarian heroes in their community. Students will create an action plan for solving an issue in their community. Students are encouraged to create an original piece of art honoring their own humanitarian hero. 


Laura Nietzer

The World Humanitarian Day lesson plan was created by MY HERO Education Outreach Director Laura Nietzer.

Related Pages

World Humanitarian Day | August 19

By: Becky Miller

MY HERO's multimedia showcase honoring humanitarian workers.


World Humanitarian Day
Credit: UN

Learn about a New Hero Every Day of the Year: Use the MY HERO Calendar in the Classroom

Learn about a New Hero Every Day of the Year: Use the MY HERO Calendar in the Classroom

MY HERO's Teachers Calendar Features Lesson Plans and Multimedia Resources

Teachers Calendar
Credit: MY HERO

Students can share their Hero Essays, Films and Art through our Create Program

How to use MY HERO's Create Program to Publish Stories, Art, Film and Audio for Students

Tutorial for students: Publish written stories, film, original artwork and audio in MY HERO's multimedia library.

Create Program
Credit: MY HERO

Outstanding essays submitted to MY HERO will be considered for a certificate/t-shirt prize or be featured on the Story Homepage.

Submit your artwork to be entered in the MY HERO art contest or to be exhibited on our Gallery Homepage.

Students can submit their films for free with a waiver to the MY HERO International Film Festival.

Organizer created on 7/8/2019 7:10:03 AM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 8/28/2023 11:42:51 AM by Laura Nietzer