As an international organization that is present in almost every country in the world, it should have a day to promote and recognize all the work done and being done by all the Red Cross and Red Crescent members and volunteers in 190 countries. Since 1948, this day started being celebrated on May 8th, chosen to honor the anniversary birthday of its founder Henry Dunant (1828-1910), who was also the first person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901. He was an empathetic man, raised in a special way, that guided him to enlighten the idea of alleviating human suffering, while keeping a neutral position in the Solferino battle field. It is really fascinating how the actions and ideas of one man influenced the beginning of the biggest humanitarian organization in the world with around 97 million members.
NORWEGIAN RED CROSS
The Norwegian Red Cross (NorCross), founded in 1865, is one of the oldest of the 177 national societies of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, established only shortly after the foundation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863. It has 200,000 members in Norway. For its first twenty years, the NorCross limited its activities to raising money. The money was to be used in the event of war and was administered by the authorities. In 1891, it decided to carry out peacetime activities as well, which led to the release of these funds.
In its efforts to alleviate suffering, advance peace, human rights and democracy, NorCross has provided support and assistance in 25 humanitarian crises, with a programmatic focus on health, Disaster Risk Management and National society Development. As a humanitarian actor, it provided financial and technical assistance for the RCRC movements response to conflict and helped and ensure local preparedness and response to natural hazards and disasters. NorCross are there for those who need new networks after being released from prison, mental illness, and substance abuse. NorCross also help schoolchildren with their homework, visit inmates in prison, and act as guides to Norwegian society for immigrants and refugees. NorCross is thus helping to prevent one of the greatest challenges in Norway – loneliness and isolation.
KENYA RED CROSS
The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) was established on 21 December 1965 through the Kenya Red Cross Society Act. (Chapter 256 Laws of Kenya). KRCS has been and remains the leading humanitarian agency and the strongest humanitarian brand in Kenya. The society now has approximately 150,000 volunteers! No wonder we often call volunteers “the backbone” of the Red Cross. The core programs of KRCS include: Disaster Risk Management, Operations, Health, Nutrition and Social Services, provision of safe water, sanitation and hygiene promotion, Organizational Development and HIV programme. In addition to being founded on the 7 Fundamental Principles, KRCS has the following core values: Innovation, Respect, Integrity and Service to Humanity.
COLOMBIAN RED CROSS
Colombia has a population of 45, 5 million people and there is 7 million people who needs humanitarian help. Red Cross in Colombia was founded, on July 30, 1915, and has 30.713 volunteers today, who are helping almost 3 million people. From its foundation to date, there is not a single episode in the history of the country where it has not participated. The War of a Thousand Days, the earthquakes of Popayán and Armenia, internally displaced refugees, the demobilization of the M-19, the attention to victims by the contamination by arms, are just some moments.
Today Red Cross Colombia continues to fulfill its humanitarian work and takes advantage of its centennial celebration to unite in one voice the 30 thousand volunteers, millions of beneficiaries, hundreds of employees and all Colombians who share the same experience. Undoubtedly, they are the ones who have written every chapter of their history, and unwittingly the lines of the most significant episodes of the country. Thanks to an idea proclaimed 152 years ago by Henry Dunant, founder of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the institution celebrates 100 years of fully fulfilling its mission: Alleviating and preventing human suffering.
NEPAL RED CROSS
Nepal Red Cross Society has since its establishment in 1963 grown to be the largest humanitarian organization in Nepal. With its network of District Chapters, it is represented in all 77 districts of the country. The organization has over 112 thousand active volunteers, where the majority are youths. They mainly volunteer in schools through Junior and Youth circles, where they learn about volunteering and how that’s important from an early age. There the youth volunteers plan and arrange activities in their school and local communities. The number of volunteers in NRCS overall, as well as blood donors, increased rapidly after the major earthquake in 2015. This shows how the Nepalese are eager to help in time of crises.
Nepal Red Cross Society’s vision says it: "shall remain an efficient, self-sustainable, and independent humanitarian organization committed to provide immediate relief to human suffering and reduce vulnerability, under the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross", and this has among other things been fulfilled through services from two eye hospitals and eye care centers, 106 blood transfusion centers and 210 ambulance service stations.
This year, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies is celebrating 100 years of bringing hope to communities in desperate need, and of bringing the voices of the world’s most vulnerable people to the highest levels of government and international diplomacy.
The Youth Delegates Exchange Programme join the rest of the Movement in celebrating the strength, efforts and contribution of volunteers, members and staff through the theme #Love. They continue to raise awareness and understanding of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement by highlighting the diversity of the work they do in their different districts and the impact it has in the society in bringing help to those in need.
Inspire! Encourage! Promote and celebrate the Red Cross and Red Crescent!