Good bye Tsiroanomandidy and Madagascar

This picture sums up how much we have enjoyed living in Madagascar.  (Veloma - Good bye in Malagasy)

This picture sums up how much we have enjoyed living in Madagascar. 
(Veloma - Good bye in Malagasy)

Our mission in Madagascar has come to an end. Almost nine months ago we arrived our host district Tsiroanomandidy, ready for and excited about the journey we had ahead of us. 

Working as Youth Delegates in another Red Cross National Society and an unfamiliar context has been a challenging but rewarding experience. We have learned a lot about the Malagasy culture, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and about ourselves - both personally and professionally.  The Red Cross youth engagement in Tsiroanomandidy has increased during our mission and we are proud to have contributed to strengthen the youth volunteers' capacity to meet the needs of the most vulnerable. We highly appreciate the cooperation we have had with all Red Cross volunteers and staff and we want to thank each and everyone who have contributed to make these past months in Madagascar and Tsiroanomandidy very memorable. 

Convinced that we will benefit from this experience in all of our future endeavours, we return to Norway with new skills and knowledge, good memories, new friends and motivation to continue our humanitarian engagement within the Red Cross.

Finally, once again we have filmed one second every day for about a month and we now want to end this blog by sharing these moments with you. Thank you so much for being interested in our work and life as Youth Delegates in Madagascar and enjoy the movie.

Sharing Norwegian traditions and culture in Tsiroanomandidy

Celebrating the Norwegian national day, 17th of May with the youth volunteers in Tsiroanomandidy.

Celebrating the Norwegian national day, 17th of May with the youth volunteers in Tsiroanomandidy.

17th of May is Norway’s National Day and is an important day for many Norwegians. It is the day where the Norwegian people celebrate that Norway got its own constitution in 1814. Norwegian people walk in parades all over the country, wave the Norwegian flag and wear their national costumes, the “bunad”. In schools, you will find children doing fun activities all day long and it is also very common to eat hot dogs and a lot of ice cream on this day.   

Today, we have celebrated the Norwegian National Day together with the youth volunteers in Tsiroanomandidy. This has been a lot of fun and a great way for us to share some of the Norwegian traditions and aspects of our culture. 

Happy 17th of May!

We had team competitions where we introduced "potetløp" and "sekkeløp".

We had team competitions where we introduced "potetløp" and "sekkeløp".

The teams also competed in "blikkbokskasting" and had a quiz about Norway.

The teams also competed in "blikkbokskasting" and had a quiz about Norway.

We held a presentation about how we celebrate our national day in Norway and the youth volunteers got to taste Norwegian brown cheese and home made cakes.

We held a presentation about how we celebrate our national day in Norway and the youth volunteers got to taste Norwegian brown cheese and home made cakes.

Celebrating the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day

Everywhere for everyone. Showing humanity amidst inhumanity. Red Cross volunteers and staff work tirelessly to prevent and alleviate human suffering and strive to build more resilient communities in the spirit of humanity. All these contributions and achievements are celebrated worldwide on the World Red Cross Red Crescent Day, the 8th May.

Together with the Tsiroanomandidy Red Cross volunteers, we took part in the celebration in the commune Ankandinondry Sakay, one hour away from Tsiroanomandidy. Through sensitisations and roleplays Red Cross volunteers promoted first aid, plague and health awareness to members of the local community. The community members also gained more knowledge about humanitarian principles and values and we once again got to experience the admirable effort of the Red Cross volunteers.

Red Cross youth camp - sharing activities and exchanging experiences

Red Cross youth camp in Analavory, Itasy region 29.04-01.05.

Red Cross youth camp in Analavory, Itasy region 29.04-01.05.

An important lesson that we have learned is that it is not always necessary to try to invent the wheel. If you plan to do something new or are in need of ideas on how to improve what you are doing, why not look to others for inspiration? We have tried to pass on this lesson to the youth volunteers when they have found it difficult to develop their activities.

Different local communities encounter many of the same humanitarian challenges. We wanted to let Red Cross youth volunteers explore some of the different ways to address humanitarian challenges and facilitated for this opportunity. With the aim to inspire youth volunteers to do more and even better humanitarian activities in their local communities, weinvited youth volunteers from four different regions to a youth camp.

In the course of three days, 18 youth volunteers from different branches in Analamanga, Bongolava, Itasy and Vakinankaratra region were gathered to exchange Red Cross activities and share their experiences as volunteers. The camp was a great success as all the volunteers were very eager to both learn from and about each other’s Red Cross work. Everyone contributed to create a great social atmosphere throughout the whole camp. In other words, two months of planning and preparations resulted in a very memorable, enriching and fun event.

Enjoy the photos!

The opening of the youth camp.

The opening of the youth camp.

Getting to know each other - presentation of the participants.

Getting to know each other - presentation of the participants.

Creative and sportive participants during the teambuilding session.

Creative and sportive participants during the teambuilding session.

The participants were eager to learn from each other through sessions about non-violent communication and problem analysis and presentations of their Red Cross youth activities,  

The participants were eager to learn from each other through sessions about non-violent communication and problem analysis and presentations of their Red Cross youth activities,  

Working together in groups across regions, the participants developed a problem tree and had sensizations about flooding, sexual health, environment and non-violent communication. 

Working together in groups across regions, the participants developed a problem tree and had sensizations about flooding, sexual health, environment and non-violent communication. 

The evenings were set aside for cultural activities and a lot of dancing :)

The evenings were set aside for cultural activities and a lot of dancing :)

Planning and problem analysis

Being a Youth Delegate has given us unique opportunities to learn, contribute with our own experiences and carry on skills and knowledge to the Red Cross youth volunteers in Madagascar. One of the objectives we work towards while being a part of the Youth Delegate Exchange Programme is to “Increase young volunteers’ capacity to meet the needs of the most vulnerable”

Some of the important factors that needs to be taken into account when doing so, is to map;

  • who are the most vulnerable in the community and what are their needs?
  • what kind of capacities do the youth volunteers have to possess to be able to meet those needs?
  • which capacities do the youth volunteers need to strengthen and how can they do so?

One of the main things we have worked with in Tsiroanomandidy has been to strengthen their planning skills by introducing a problem analysis tool, “the problem tree”. With “the problem tree”, you do a thorough study of one or more problems, to identify their causes and decide whether and how to tackle them.

Planning workshop held by Maria and Kristina, 26.11.2016.

Planning workshop held by Maria and Kristina, 26.11.2016.

Over the past months, we have facilitated a planning workshop for the members of the youth board and initiated to create a system of bi-monthly activity plans. Furthermore, we have focused on the importance of planning for activities that meet the needs of the most vulnerable in the community.

The members of the youth board have been fast learners and we are excited to observe that they have increased their knowledge and improved their planning skills. The tools that they have become familiar with are also important for the other youth volunteers. Therefore, the district youth president held a planning workshop and introduced “the problem tree” for 12 youth volunteers earlier this week.
 

Planning workshop held by the district youth president, 26.04.2017.

Planning workshop held by the district youth president, 26.04.2017.

Easter holiday in Madagascar

During Easter, we had visitors from Norway.  Together with Maria's father and Kristina's mother, we travelled and experienced the beautiful contrasts of Madagascar. It was amazing to see more of the country and we want to share some of our photos with you. Enjoy!

Antananarivo

Antananarivo

The lemur park outside of Antananarivo

The lemur park outside of Antananarivo

Tsiroanomandidy

Tsiroanomandidy

Antsirabe

Antsirabe

Antsirabe

Antsirabe

Morondava

Morondava

Morondava

Morondava

Baobab Avenue outside of Morondava

Baobab Avenue outside of Morondava

Nosy Be

Nosy Be

Nosy Be

Nosy Be

Ranomafana

Ranomafana

Fianarantsoa

Fianarantsoa

Visit to Ankadinondry Sakay – a pilot commune of the Malagasy Red Cross

A part of the experience of being a Youth Delegate is to learn about Red Cross programmes and activities of the host National Society. Norwegian Red Cross (NorCross) has been cooperating with Malagasy Red Cross (MRC) since 2012 and supports MRC in the areas of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Health and Organisational Development.

Meeting the youth volunteers in Ankadinondry Sakay

Meeting the youth volunteers in Ankadinondry Sakay

This week we got the opportunity to visit Ankadinondry Sakay, one of MRC’s six pilot communes. NorCross has supported MRC’s organizational development programme in Ankadinondry Sakay since 2013. This rural commune is located 66 kilometres east of Tsiroanomandidy, where we live. Ankadinondry Sakay has 22 villages, whereas 16 of them have Red Cross activities. These include home visits and sensitizations concerning Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), environmental protection, first aid demonstrations and activities within Community Based Health and First Aid (CBHFA).

There is no Red Cross youth structure established in Ankadinondry Sakay yet, but youth still make up the main bulk of active volunteers in the commune. We were fortunate to meet many of them and facilitate for some teambuilding exercises and games. Last but not least, we got a brief tour around Ankadinondry village and we learned more about the volunteers’ work.
 

Are you interested in reading more about some of the work Norwegian Red Cross' do in Madagascar? Follow these links:
- http://vannforlivet.no/english/
- https://www.rodekors.no/vart-arbeid/internasjonal/afrika/madagaskar/ (NB. the webpage is in Norwegian)

World Water Day 2017

Each year 22. March marks the World Water Day – a day which aims to draw attention to the importance of water and that fresh water resources are at the heart of sustainable development.

The youth volunteers spread information about the World Water Day in the community and conducted a sensitization at a local school

The youth volunteers spread information about the World Water Day in the community and conducted a sensitization at a local school

It is an indisputable fact that safe water contributes to improve social well-being, economic growth and protecting the environment, affecting the livelihoods of billions of people. This year’s theme for the World Water Day was wastewater – a resource flushed down the drain.

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In a world where fresh water supplies are not a matter of course for everyone, improved management of these resources is critical. Living in Madagascar, we experience this challenge ourselves on a daily basis. Over half the population in Madagascar lives without access to safe water and over 21 million people have nowhere decent to go to the toilet. We make an effort to reduce our wastewater by purifying water for cooking, stocking water for sanitation and hygiene, as well as practice safe drinking water.

Kristina is stocking water at home

Kristina is stocking water at home

Today, 1.8 billion people around the world use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces. This increase the risk of cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. Combined with poor hygiene practices, this undermines community health and well-being. This is also a challenge in our village Tsiroanomandidy. Therefore, to mark the World Water Day, the youth volunteers had a sensitization at a local school about the importance of proper handwashing and use of safe water. Building knowledge and changing behavior and practices lead to healthier communities and strengthened resilience. Water is an essential resource in this effort. So why waste it?

Animation with three important messages: 1) Wash your hands properly, 2) practice safe drinking water 3) and use toilet facilities

Promoting a healthy lifestyle in Tsiroanomandidy through basketball

After two months of planning and preparations, the Red Cross basketball tournament in Tsiroanomandidy was finally due on Saturday 18. March. We believe that when youth have an opportunity to practice sports they are more likely to develop healthy habits. The basketball tournament was arranged to promote a healthy lifestyle and social inclusion and we therefore invited youth across the community to participate in the full day sports event.

We invited two private schools, two public schools and a Red Cross team from Ankandinondry to participate in the tournament. Each team consisted of girls and boys and the players were between 15 and 25 years old.

We invited two private schools, two public schools and a Red Cross team from Ankandinondry to participate in the tournament. Each team consisted of girls and boys and the players were between 15 and 25 years old.

In addition to the matches, the youth volunteers had prepared other activities during the day of the tournament. The volunteers performed a first aid simulation, so that the public could watch and learn, both how basic first aid is conducted and to get to know one of the activities of Red Cross. There were also volunteers responsible for and who ran a kiosk and volunteers who shared information about the work of Red Cross and who recruited new volunteers.

We had also invited a local dance group to perform several times during the day as entertainment between the matches.    

Prior to the basketball tournament, we promoted the event in the local community and this created public engagement. Local radio and national TV covered the event and about 300 people were present to watch the final. In other words, the tournament was a great success!

The winning team CLUB DES PROFESSEURS EXPERIMENTES

The winning team CLUB DES PROFESSEURS EXPERIMENTES

Malagasy Red Cross volunteers respond to the tropical cyclone Enawo

This week has been an extraordinary one. Madagascar is severely affected by the cyclone Enawo, the strongest storm to strike the island in 13 years. The cyclone made landfall in the north-east part of the country on Tuesday 7 March and moved its way southwards to Antananarivo and Tsiroanomandidy, where we live, on Wednesday evening before exiting the country into the Indian Ocean on Friday 10 March. None of us have ever experienced natural forces like the ones Enawo brought to the island. Powerful winds and torrential rain has caused major damage to infrastructure, as well as flooding and landslides across the country. Our village escaped severe consequences of the cyclone.

Whenever a disaster strikes, Malagasy Red Cross (MRC) is an essential part of the government’s response. Prior to the cyclone, MRC mobilized hundreds of volunteers all over the country who sensitized populations and disseminated early warning messages. As the cyclone hit, well trained local MRC volunteers conducted assessments of the situation and provided First Aid and Psychosocial Support to the people in the affected communities. The activities have been enabled through the ECHO Emergency Fund (European Commission for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection) and with the financial and technical support of the Danish Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross and German Red Cross. The efforts of the Malagasy Red Cross volunteers will continue as the population in many parts of the country will need assistance to restore their lives and communities both in a short-and long term perspective.

MRC and the authorities fears that, under a worse-case scenario, more than 700,000 people have been directly or indirectly affected by the cyclone. Still, figures for the number of victims are not yet available for many of the municipalities and districts where the cyclone passed. However, several deaths have been reported, thousands of people have been displaced and houses have been damaged, flooded or destroyed. There is no doubt that Madagascar will need time, as well as assistance from the international community to recover from this disaster.

Our thoughts and sincere condolences go to the people affected by the consequences of the cyclone. Lastly, we want to praise all the volunteers who have contributed to MRC’s rapid response and who still work hard to reduce suffering in the aftermaths of Enawo.
 

Glimpses of the life as a Youth Delegate

We have been filming one second every day for about a month and we want to share these moments with you. Obviously, it is not possible to capture everything we do, feel and experience in a short video like this. However, we still hope to give you an impression of how varied, challenging and exciting it is to be a Youth Delegate in Madagascar. Enjoy the movie!

To all Norwegian Red Cross volunteers between the age of 21 and 28: It is not too late to apply for the “Youth basic training course” (YBTC). This course is compulsory for anyone who wants to be a future Youth Delegate and a part of the Youth Delegate Exchange Programme. Check out this link for more information about the application process and how to apply. 

Youth as Agents for Behavioral Change (YABC)

One of the three strategic directions for the IFRC’s work in Strategy 2020 is to promote a culture of non-violence and peace(CNV+P).  Therefore, IFRC started the initiative Youth as Agents of Behavioral Change (YABC). The program seeks to empower individuals to take up an ethical leadership role in their community. The YABC learning approach utilizes games, role-plays, simulations and visualization exercises to introduce the participants to thematic issues and enabling  them to develop their personal skills. 

YABC are structured after the following three categories;
1. The seven Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
2. YABC ethical leadership and role-modelling skills
3. YABC values

To give the youth volunteers in Tsiroanomandidy YABC knowledge and experience, we invited two YABC-instructors to conduct a full day workshop. The youth volunteers decided which topics within each of the three categories they felt were the most important for them and the community: 

1 - Volunteering and humanity
2 - Prevention and intercultural dialogue
3 - Empathy and Critical Thinking, Abandonment of Prejudice and Non-Judgment


By gaining this YABC experience, the youth volunteers have been given the opportunity to open their eyes to the cultural and society norms that influences each one of them. In addition, that they have started developing an ability to challenge their assumptions, change their perspectives, think in a different way and find potential solutions to violence. 

Exploring Ampefy

We have had the opportunity to travel to Ampefy, which is located between Tsiroanomandidy, where we live, and the capital Antananarivo. It has been exciting to see and experience more of Madagascar. Therefore, we want to share some pictures to show how beautiful Ampefy is. Amongst other we saw the Lily waterfalls, Analavory geysers and lake Itasy.

On the way from Tsiroanomandidy to Ampefy

On the way from Tsiroanomandidy to Ampefy

Lily waterfalls

Lily waterfalls

Analavory geysers

Analavory geysers

Lake Itasy

Lake Itasy

On the way from Ampefy to Antananarivo

On the way from Ampefy to Antananarivo

 

 

Climbing the ladder of youth participation

A part of being young means developing the ability and the interest to actively participate in the society. Youth participation is not a “thing” that can be ticked off once an activity or project is completed. Rather, youth participation is an approach which promotes inclusive and sustainable societies. Although young people and their capacities are increasingly recognized and valued, it is important to be aware of the various forms of youth participation that exist.

One of the most well-known theoretical youth participation models is Roger Hart’s (1992). His “Ladder of Participation” is a way of looking at different levels of youth participation from “manipulated” (bottom of the ladder) to “shared decision making” (top of the ladder). The intention of this model is not to claim that we have to be at the top rung, but rather, that we should try to move away from the lower rungs of non-participation and think of ways to foster youth engagement.

In Madagascar, where just over 60% are under the age of 25, the importance of youth participation is indisputable. With this in mind, Malagasy Red Cross attaches great importance to attract young people and retain them in the organization. The youth programme of Malagasy Red Cross therefore strives to train young people, encourage them and empower them to engage in humanitarian activities.

When working as Youth Delegates in Madagascar, we interact with numerous young Red Cross volunteers who are determined to make a difference in their local communities. A part of our work is to foster reflection on the ways young volunteers can participate in Red Cross activities and the factors which impede or facilitate their participation. Last Saturday we facilitated for an intergenerational interaction activity on this topic. Volunteers in all ages worked together to familiarize themselves with the “Ladder of Youth Participation” and to discuss where on the ladder they find themselves.

Recreating and discussing the "Ladder of Youth Participation".

Recreating and discussing the "Ladder of Youth Participation".

To promote, develop and ensure an environment where young people actively can contribute with their ideas, capacities, skills and even take the lead requires intergenerational effort. Ultimately, climbing the ladder of youth participation is an ongoing process and we enjoy taking a part of it in Tsiroanomandidy district.

Protecting the environment: Planting 4000 trees in 20 minutes

This week we took part in an activity which is very familiar to us Norwegians - "dugnad" (Norwegian word). A “dugnad” is when several people in a community work together, on a voluntary basis and often unpaid, towards a common goal or something of importance for the community. We got to experience the malagasy "dugnad"-spirit and it was inspiring to see what community members can accomplish when working together.

Deforestation in Madagascar is a great environmental threat to the island's biodiversity and it has negative impact on people's livelihoods. On Tuesday, Bongolava Red Cross volunteers and we contributed in the annual effort to protect the environment by planting trees. This activity was organized by the Ministry of the Environment, Ecology and Forestry in all 22 regions in Madagascar. In Tsiroanomandidy, the activity was led by the prefect, head of the region and the local authorities. Hundreds of representatives from all ministries in the region, major economic operators, chain shops and non-governmental organizations partook with great enthusiasm to restore the forest. After 20 minutes of solid effort we had planted 4000 (!) acacia trees.

Together Everyone Achieves More

“'If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. » - African proverb

The above African proverb illustrates a core aspect of voluntary work - teamwork. Being a volunteer often means working in a team or together with other people who also wants to make a contribution. The objectives of the volunteer work might differ from one time to another, as well as the people you work with. These people are not necessarily your best friends and they might even be strangers in the beginning. Either way, to achieve a good work atmosphere, to be effective and to achieve the goals set, it is essential to create trust and build relationships within the team. This of course takes time, but it is also the ability to cooperate across gender, age and background that contributes to make a team of volunteers successful.

Today we renovated the outside area in front of the Red Cross office. All youth volunteers present contributed and worked together in good spirit to restore a nice appearance.

As part of today's activity we facilitated for a team building session. The youth volunteers were challenged to be effective and accurate while working together and coping with time pressure. 

Memorizing and recreating a drawn figure

Memorizing and recreating a drawn figure

Team building exercises are important not only for the immediate experience of the exercise performed, but also for the youth volunteers to bond and to develop cooperative and communicative skills. Additionally, it was a lot of fun :)

Are YOU the next Youth Delegate?

Youth Delegates 2016/2017 from Colombia, Madagascar, Nepal and Norway

Youth Delegates 2016/2017 from Colombia, Madagascar, Nepal and Norway

About one year ago, we both made a decision that we have yet to regret – to apply to become a Youth Delegate. Adventurous, curious as well as ready to take on new challenges, we dreamt about working for the Red Cross in a new context and new national society. Now, we are almost halfway in our mission in Madagascar and, still, we discover and learn new things about ourselves, personally and professionally, about the community we live in, Madagascar, youth engagement and the Red Cross Movement. In other words, being a Youth Delegate gives you the opportunity to work with development - in local Red Cross youth activities, with youth volunteers and of course personally.  Does this sound like something for you? Then, do not miss the opportunity to apply to become the next Youth Delegate!

The application process differs between the countries who are a part of the Youth Delegate Exchange Programme but in all cases, it is important to have Red Cross experience and be between the age of 21 and 28. If you are a Red Cross volunteer from Madagascar, check out this link if you are interested in becoming a Youth Delegate. Potential applicants from Norway can read more about the Youth Delegate Exchange Programme and how to apply for the position as a Youth Delegate here.

We encourage everyone who fulfil the qualifications to apply and are very happy to answer any questions regarding how it is to be a Youth Delegate. Good luck:)

Merry Christmas and happy New year from madagascar

The year 2016 is soon coming to an end and we are looking back at the three and a half months we have worked in Madagascar. We have had numerous new, exciting and challenging experiences and we want to share some of them with you through photos - Enjoy!

September

Top left: All Youth Delegates 2016/2017 before departure to host Districts. Top right: View from our office in Tsiroanomandidy, Bongolava Region. Bottom left: Maria and Kristina together with the Regional Red Cross  president in Bongolava. Bottom right: Maria and some of the youth volunteers relaxing after playing basketball.   

Top left: All Youth Delegates 2016/2017 before departure to host Districts.
Top right: View from our office in Tsiroanomandidy, Bongolava Region.
Bottom left: Maria and Kristina together with the Regional Red Cross  president in Bongolava.
Bottom right: Maria and some of the youth volunteers relaxing after playing basketball.   

October

Top left: Celebration of Global Handwashing Day 15. October. Top right: View ofthe capital, Antananarivo. Bottom left: Youth volunteers discussing the objectives of Youth Delegate Exchange Programme. Bottom right: The Regional Red Cross coordinator talking about the number of volunteers in the region at the General Assembly.

Top left: Celebration of Global Handwashing Day 15. October.
Top right: View ofthe capital, Antananarivo.
Bottom left: Youth volunteers discussing the objectives of Youth Delegate Exchange Programme.
Bottom right: The Regional Red Cross coordinator talking about the number of volunteers in the region at the General Assembly.

November

Top left: A Branch Organsational Capacity Assesment was conducted in Bongolava Region. Top right: Preparations for the recruitment drive outside the City Hall. Bottom left: View of Ambihomanga, 1 hour north of Antananarivo. Bottom right: Workshop on planning and needs assement.

Top left: A Branch Organsational Capacity Assesment was conducted in Bongolava Region.
Top right: Preparations for the recruitment drive outside the City Hall.
Bottom left: View of Ambihomanga, 1 hour north of Antananarivo.
Bottom right: Workshop on planning and needs assement.

December

Top left: A ring-tailed lemur in the Lemur park, Antananarivo. Top right: The youth volunteers made "snow flakes" at the christmas workshop. Bottom left: Visiting the Queens Palace in Antananarivo. Bottom right: Non-violent communication workshop at the national volunteer camp.


Top left: A ring-tailed lemur in the Lemur park, Antananarivo.
Top right: The youth volunteers made "snow flakes" at the christmas workshop.
Bottom left: Visiting the Queens Palace in Antananarivo.
Bottom right: Non-violent communication workshop at the national volunteer camp.

We will be back in January with new updates on our work and hope you will continue to read our blog in 2017.


We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Red Cross colleagues from Italy, Norway and the Netherlands.

Red Cross colleagues from Italy, Norway and the Netherlands.

Celebration of the International Volunteer Day 2016

The International Volunteer Day is held each year on 5 December and is a unique chance for all organizations and volunteers worldwide to celebrate their efforts and promote their work. Volunteers are at the heart of all Red Cross activities and Malagasy Red Cross currently have close to 14 300 volunteers who strive to improve the lives of vulnerable people within their communities.

To mark the International Volunteer Day, Malagasy Red Cross organized a national camp to create a platform for exchange of experience between its volunteers. From the 3rd to the 5th of December, more than 100 volunteers from all over the country had the chance to increase their knowledge about the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Further, the volunteers could strengthen their capacity in various fields of Malagasy Red Cross activities through workshops and interactive sessions. The camp also provided an excellent opportunity to discuss the various challenges of the humanitarian world and the areas of intervention where Red Cross National Societies work. Topics that were raised included migration, risk and disaster management and promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence.

We are grateful to have had the opportunity to meet and interact with so many engaged volunteers. We are proud to be a part of an organization with volunteers committed to saving lives and changing minds. The camp was an inspiring experience for us, as well as a reminder of the rich diversity Red Cross volunteers represent. Finally, we want to thank everyone who contributed to make this year’s celebration of the International Volunteer Day a memorable event.

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World AIDS Day – Show your solidarity

Join this years campaign for the 2016 World AIDS Day #HIVprevention. Read more here. 

Join this years campaign for the 2016 World AIDS Day #HIVprevention. Read more here. 

The world today has more knowledge about HIV and AIDS than ever before. Medicines for those affected have become cheaper and access to essential treatment has improved. New technology makes it possible to diagnose HIV and AIDS at an earlier stage and the prospects for surviving are better than ever before.

Despite progress in many areas, HIV and AIDS remains a global challenge. It still affects millions of people each year and that is why the World AIDS Day, the 1. December, is an important day. The World AIDS day is marked every year, all around the globe, and is dedicated to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS and mourn those who have died. Stigma and discrimination are among the primary barriers to achieving universal access to treatment, care, and prevention. Every single one of us can contribute to decrease stigmatisation and discrimination of those who have become affected by HIV and AIDS. We encourage you to be creative and show your solidarity!

Together with the Youth Delegates in Colombia, Nepal and Norway we have made a short movie to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS – Feel free to share it :)