World Humanitarian Day applauds the efforts of aid workers the world over. Humanitarians deliver relief - and hope - in often difficult or dangerous conditions following conflict or natural disaster. World Humanitarian Day is a chance to not only praise the work of humanitarians but give voice to the many powerful stories of triumph that exist in crisis situations.
The Lutheran World Federation responds to some of the most severe and protracted conflicts. In the last 12 months, World Service scaled up its operations and responded to all Level 3 emergencies - those considered the largest and most complex - in South Sudan, Syria, Iraq and the Central African Republic - as well as less prominent or long-standing crises that no longer make the headlines.
We're pleased to bring a message of gratitude from World Service director, Maria Immonen, to LWF staff worldwide,
And to hightlight stories of LWF workers motivated to serve refugees in need
LWF Nepal vehicle driver Anita Rana Magar survived the 25 April earthquake yet went on to experience equally challenging situations. She not only had to stand up to an angry mob in that wanted to loot and attack her aid convoy but later fled landslides triggered by an aftershock. She overcoming her fear and carried on with her work courageously.
Yuri Guzman talks about the particular challenges of working in Colombia where recurrent humanitarian crises, the absence of the state, and the constant vulnerability of the civilians test the skills of humanitarian workers every day.
Recent humanitarian crises put the lives of aid workers at greater risk than ever before. The way in which aid workers are perceived - by refugees, combattants, authorities - has a bearing on staff safety, says the LWF's security advisor Susan Muis.
In the refugee settlements in Chad, prospects are bleak and past trauma creates new stress. LWF Chad volunteer Deena Houmhisna does her best to offer psychosocial support to people who have experienced horrific suffering.
Even on home leave, Anne Mwaura couldn't stop coming up with ideas to improve the lives of refugees in camps in South Sudan where she worked. Facilities in the Ajuongthok refugee camp have developed to now include information technology classes.