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David Vardazarian. Mission: Humanity



When “Aurora” was just announced, I put my feelings about it in a piece on my blog. 

Back then I used to run my blog (one of the most followed) on an influential Armenian media. Back then I belonged to the caste of people who try to improve the things around by writing. But at the same time, I was on the brink of totally changing my profile, and this is how “Aurora” and its nominees changed the things, for me personally.

I remember following the Aurora news, the awards ceremony, stories of the “Aurora” Prize heroes. I remember being particularly impressed and inspired by a a man with a red cross on his chest. That man was doctor Bernard Kinvi. I guess that “clicking” happened because I was in the process of joining the Red Cross myself. I had doubts, my family was feared to let me out. Even though I felt (and still do) profound respect, to all the nominees, for their unique lifesaving (and hope-saving) work and to “Aurora”, for highlighting, celebrating it, and making those people our heroes, in the times of fake and ambiguous heroes we live, for me “Aurora” went too personal and too far, far beyond just feeling thankful to them for being who they are and doing what they do for the world.

You know, I come from a nation basically saved and survived with the help of people like heroes of “Aurora” Prize, historically. Nowadays, in my native troubled region, I could see almost on the daily basis the importance of the humanitarian work. At some point, I felt I wanted to be one of those people, who help, not only with writing.  It was not enough by then. The example of doctor Kinvi (appreciated and promoted in my country) further encouraged me to join the ICRC, the International Committee of the Red Cross (as seeing and appreciating their work in my region for a long time.) Luckily, my background and skills were appreciated by the ICRC and I fitted to join the caste of people, 16.000 staff of our Organization who work worldwide, wherever there are armed conflicts and wars.

Now my first mission is in Eastern Ukraine, Donbass...

Today, knowing all the aspects of humanitarian work and my hat going off before each and every humanitarian worker (I know and admire so many of them now), I want to thank doctor Kinvi for his outstanding role and even more outstanding example. Thanks, doctor, for being around for all those people you helped and saved, in due time. And thank you for being there for anyone, like me, who’d like to follow your steps.

Now it seems the greatest thing to keep Humanity awakening, like “Aurora” does, and finding one’s mission in humanitarian activities.

Now it also seems there is nothing as simple and, at the meantime, as difficult, as taking Humanity to the levels of heroism. Luckily some people, like doctor Kinvi succeed. Luckily for others. Perhaps the other difficulty is realizing from time to time that not always you can “save the Planet” (in terms of being as helpful as you feel needed.)

I know it is naïve, but still, at moments like that I take inspiration in the work of my ICRC colleagues and comfort myself with what I have gained in doctor’s story. Perhaps that could be best expressed in what was put long ago in the following:

"Whoever saves a soul, saves an entire world."

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