A campaign to promote humanitarian messages with cartoons

13 October 2014 | Sphere Project

Sphere Project Board meeting in NYC, May 2014 See the cartoons gallery.

The Sphere Project office has published a series of six posters and six matching postcards featuring humanitarian messages illustrated with cartoons. The posters and postcards are available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish. 

The messages illustrated by the cartoons are taken from the Humanitarian Charter, the cornerstone of the minimum standards for humanitarian response contained in the Sphere Handbook. Five renowned cartoonists created the cartoons.

"With this campaign we would like to highlight the crucial role and value of the Humanitarian Charter within the architecture of Sphere principles and standards," says Linda Poteat, Sphere Director ad interim.

Poteat hopes that the posters and postcards "will help increase the awareness of the Charter among the community of Sphere practitioners and encourage them to study it with greater attention, as it's really the foundation on which the Sphere building rests."

Looking for social media-ready versions of the cartoons?

To bring this project to fruition, the Sphere Project partnered with the Cartoon Movement and benefited from the support of the Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action (CERAH).

"The Sphere Handbook and the Humanitarian Charter are part of the foundational materials we use for our teaching at CERAH," says the institution's Director, Prof. Doris Schopper. "That's why we welcome these cartoons, as we expect they will draw attention to the Charter."

"There is something about the way our brain receives visual messages that gives cartoons more impact than mere words," says Tjeerd Royaards, Cartoon Movement's Editor-in-Chief. "They're so powerful because they are able to condense a complex issue into a single visual stimulus."

"Cartoons are often used to show what is wrong in the world - Royaards adds - but in this campaign they also have a more constructive role: showing the principles that should prevail in humanitarian assistance."

How to get your set

As the Sphere Project can only print and distribute a limited quantity of posters and postcards, it has created a crowd-funding project to allow interested members of the Sphere community to acquire their set by paying only the packaging and shipping costs (this offer was available only until 26 October 2014).

If you are involved in humanitarian response or simply if you care about humanitarian aid, these posters and postcards will allow you to share with others your commitment to quality and accountability.

The Cartoon Movement brings together more than 100 editorial cartoonists in over 60 countries.

CERAH, as the humanitarian platform in Geneva's academic environment, offers a variety of trainings and conducts research on topics of humanitarian action.

See the posters gallery.

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