Sometimes I ask myself, “What is our world coming to?” but I look again and see people everywhere standing up to care for fellow human beings; People countering destructive trends with a commitment to our common humanity.

Over 1 million refugees arrived in Europe in 2015. Most of them are from Syria while others come from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan, and other countries. Half of them are children and youth below the age of 18 years. Europe answered by closing borders, building fences, passing restrictive laws and employing more police. But millions of ordinary people stood up to welcome the refugees, often at the risk for their own lives. Because this is what humanitarians do; when your neighbor’s house is on fire, you bring your bucket of water!
Their stories confirm the power of the human spirit.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, almost 25 million people live with HIV/AIDS. In many rural communities, the consequences are devastating. Children are left orphaned, families lose the bread winners, and the social fabric of society crumbles. These communities lack basic health care and the epidemic is surrounded by misconceptions and stigma. In the midst of this, people stand up for their fellow human beings. Families take in the orphans. Groups of women get together and produce vegetables that they take to those who are sick. Humana People to People works together with thousands of these passionate people in the Total Control of the Epidemic program (TCE).
Their stories confirm the power of the human spirit.

There are people all over the world demonstrating the power of the human spirit. We meet them here in the USA and at the projects in Africa and Brazil.

During the programs at One World Center, you will be challenged in many ways which forces you to open your mind and to think outside the box. You come to realize that it takes an effort to come to respect and understand people with other backgrounds and from other cultures. You also come to realize the power of the human spirit when collectively taking action for a better world. This changes you.

You will come out of this program a changed person. Changed in the way that you have a much wider understanding of the world we live in, what forces are at play, the riches and potentials of the world, and how you can take ownership of your own lives in the future. Changed in the way that you build strong bonds with people you never imagined and this seriously enriches your life. This process of change is the most essential process in the effort to build a world with peace and justice.

Let’s join hands with the millions of humanitarians around the world and cultivate the power of the human spirit!

Written by: Jytte Martinussen, One World Center’s Program Development Advisor