10 Instagram accounts to follow closely if you are passionate about humanitarian work

by Mehmet Erdoğan

A screenshot from Clouds Over Sidra.

For better or worse, our consumption of content has become increasingly visual over the last few years.

Development organisations have had to adapt quickly to this fact.

From UN’s virtual reality film Clouds Over Sidra taking us to a refugee camp in Jordan to BBC Media Action’s movie that turns your cell phone into a refugee’s phone, from Open Society Foundation’s comic Meet the Somalis to the more recent GIF portraiture project Syria Street by ICRC, development and humanitarian organisations are constantly exploring new ways of storytelling and reaching new audiences.

If you’re doing non-profit work, getting the word out about your efforts can be a challenge.

  1. Social media feeds are oversaturated with content,
  2. The average attention span keeps diminishing,
  3. The topics we have to cover as NGOs and international aid organisations can be very heavy and difficult to condense into sound-bytes,
  4. You may not have the budget carried by the likes of major companies (who often dominate the world of content.)

Still, visuals can be a powerful way of engaging audiences. You’ve heard the old adage, “Don’t expect people tocome to you, go where the people are.”

That maxim brings us to Instagram, which reached 500 million users in 2016 after rebranding itself and adding new features. It’s a free and very popular platform for socially conscious organisations to showcase their work.

Let’s take a look at some international organisations doing wonders on Instagram — each in their own unique way. Check out the profiles below to follow their work & support their efforts.


1. Amnesty — Take a bold step for action

2. ICRC — Impactful visuals from the frontlines

3. United Nations — 1 million followers strong

4. Charity: Water — Personal, heartfelt, up-close

5. Gates Foundation — Charts for social good

6. The Global Goals — The power of graphics

7. UNICEF — A smile speaks a thousand words

8. UNHCR (@UNREFUGEES)— Reaching across divisions

9. Doctors Without Borders — Photos as news stories

10. Global Fund Women — Mix up styles, keep it fresh


And we’re on Instagram too 📸

Follow us for the most colourful updates from our work in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

And let us know how we’re doing — your feedback matters to us!

Do you have any Instagram favourites not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments!

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