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Cecil Laguardia/Twitter
World News

Aid workers urge churches to engage

Cecil Laguardia, an experienced communications specialist in the Philippines, and Ian Dawes who works in Iraq have spoken out to mark World Humanitarian Day 2017.

Laguardia, who has responded to natural disasters including Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 and the 2015 Nepal earthquake (pictured below), said: "When I go out and serve I know that I'm the face of God in those communities.

Photo: REX

"I'm showing what a Christian truly should be doing in a situation like this.

"It's not just an ordinary eight hour. It can even be a 24 hour job. You really have to commit because you're not working to serve but you're also risking your life."

World Humanitarian Day is an initiative organised by the United Nations to "to honour the brave health and aid workers who are targeted or obstructed as they set out to help people in need".

The theme of this year's campaign falls under the #NotATarget hashtag and highlights how aid workers are increasingly being targeted in conflict situations.

Cecil Laguardia called for support from Christians, saying: "Churches should stand up with everyone in the world to say that violence against aid workers and civilians should stop."

ZUMA/REX

Ian Dawes, who works in the area Kurdistan which is found in northern Iraq (pictured above), encouraged Christians not to be ignorant about global conflict and disaster situations.

He told Premier: "It might be just talking about an issue - and that's an important thing - or it might be something more tangible, like getting behind a clause and talking... [about] how their church might be able to help."

Speaking about the difference faith makes to his work, Mr Dawes added: We put a lot of store into our Christian faith and what that is able to provide to us, in terms of comfort and support.

"You also take a lot to get through the day from your peers and your colleagues."

Ian Dawes and Cecil Laguardia both work for World Vision, a Christian organisation serving children in some of the world's most challenging places.

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