World Humanitarian Day Multimedia Resources and Lesson Plan for Teachers

Share the importance of World Humanitarian Day with students. MY HERO's multimedia lesson plan honors humanitarian workers in danger. Includes discussion guide and learning outcome.

Credit: UN Photo © Nazeer Al-Khatib/Stringer


World Humanitarian Day is celebrated each year on August 19 to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service and to rally support for people affected by crises around the world.

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 younger 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)

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)

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.

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 contest 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.


By: Matt Nesvadba

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

Desmond Tutu

By: Steph Eberlein, Joe Lindley, Jake Fusilier

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

Learning Outcomes

Students will identify humanitarian heroes in their community. Students will create an action plan towards 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

Credit: mh

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

Aileen Cole Stewart: Called to Serve

By: MY HERO Staff
Aileen Cole Stewart made history as one of 18 African American nurses to serve in the Army Nurse Corp during WWI.

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.

Doctors Without Borders

By: Nathaniel from Los Angeles
Doctors Without Borders gives medical care to people in 70 countries worldwide.

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

Last edited 8/31/2020 3:21:44 PM by Shannon Luders-Manuel