Everywhere for Everyone - World Red Cross Day

Everywhere for Everyone - World Red Cross Day

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Highlights:
  • World Red Cross Day is observed all over the world on the 8th May every year in memory of its founder who was born on this day and to create awareness about the tireless services of its volunteers.
  • The Red Cross is an international humanitarian organization that helps victims all over the world in response to calls of disaster, violence and war as well as provides community health care during peacetime.

History of Red Cross Society

The Red Cross Society was established in 1863 by Jean Henri Dunant, a Swiss citizen, after he witnessed first hand the horrors of war and felt he had to do something for its victims. He called for volunteers and trained persons to help him set up an organization to help persons and soldiers affected and wounded in war.
Everywhere for Everyone - World Red Cross Day

In response to his call, initially four people joined him in the year 1863 to start a relief society for those injured. Later in the same year, its name was changed to the Red Cross Society. Along with Sir Jean Henri Dunant, these four persons formed the first International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) Society. Henry Dunant is also the first ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Currently, there are Red Cross National Societies in about 200 countries worldwide. The Red Cross and Red Crescent movement share the same mission and vision, and operate under the seven guiding principles - Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality.

Overview and Activities of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the biggest humanitarian network in the world. There is one in every country and supported in its endeavor by millions of volunteers.

The ICRC is funded chiefly by voluntary donations from governments and from National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies across the world.

The ICRC responds fast and in an efficient manner to help people affected by war. They also respond to concurrent disasters in conflict areas, because the effects of a disaster are amplified in a country already affected by war.

The major activities of the ICRC in regions torn by war and violence to help affected victims include:
  • Provision of water and maintains a sustainable living environment for displaced victims
  • Provision of basic health care in war torn areas as well as treating the sick and injured
  • Provision of food, clothing, shelter and hygiene to war victims and aim to give families economic security
  • Preventing and helping victims of sexual violence
  • Reminding authorities and other officials to follow and respect international human rights law and international humanitarian law
  • Helps unite families and track missing persons in war and other disasters
  • Protection of refugees and asylum seekers as per guidelines of international law
  • Ensuring humane treatment of prisoners and detainees irrespective of the reasons for their arrest
  • Raising awareness of the rights and needs of people affected by war or violence
  • Helping to rehabilitate of physically disabled persons due to war
  • Handling bodies of victims of war and violence with respect and dignity
Other activities in the community during peace time, especially in the under developed countries include offering:
  • Maternal and child care services
  • Family welfare clinics
  • Blood banking services
  • Providing vocational training to the women from poorer sections of society and teaching them to be independent
  • Training women in nursing and mid-wifery

What We Can Do to Help The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

Organizations like Red Cross need all the support they can get to continue their work worldwide. We can spread the message about their activities in regions currently torn by conflict such as Syria, Iraq and other places in one or more of the following ways:
  • Using social media such as Facebook and Twitter to share messages and post and share pictures and videos that can be downloaded online
  • Adding filters (Twibbons) to social profile pictures to show support and solidarity for the campaign
  • Organizing a fundraising campaign and donating the proceeds to the local or regional Red Cross Society
  • Making a personal or corporate contribution to aid the Red Cross serving in war torn areas
  • Leaving a legacy in honor of the Red Cross for its humanitarian activities
  • Volunteering to serve in war torn or disaster affected areas to help the sick and injured
  • Using the print and visual media to raise awareness and spread the message about the activities of the Red Cross and help the organization
War and other mindless violence kills persons including women and children and subjects people to unspeakable horrors and misery. Organizations such as the Red Cross and its volunteers deserve our support and encouragement in every little way that we can to put the smile back on the faces of the hundreds of persons affected by these events.

References :
  1. Our Volunteers are the Heart and Soul of the American Red Cross - (http://www.redcross.org/news/article/Our-Volunteers-are-the-Heart-and-Soul-of-the-American-Red-Cross)
  2. The world red cross day: everywhere for everyone. Brief history of the red cross society - (https://steemit.com/untalented/@tabithaa/the-world-red-cross-day- everywhere-for-everyone-brief-history-of-the-red-cross-society)
  3. International Committee Of The Red Cross - (https://www.icrc.org/en/what-we-do)

Source: Medindia

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