Right now, the world is trying to cope with a multitude of challenges: a global pandemic, the climate emergency, natural disasters, and violence that forces communities to flee from their homes. In times like these, it’s easy to be pessimistic.
But everyone can play their part in providing hope and faith to communities around the world. When people around the world are united in acts of kindness, no matter how big or small, communities become #unstoppable, which is the theme of this year’s World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day.
For over a century, and since its creation in 1919, the purpose of the Red Cross / Red Crescent has been to help those most in need by enabling recovery from disasters, providing financial aid, and offering advice and support to help build resilience and wellness.
Red Cross during the pandemic
Over the past year, many of us have understandably and rightfully focused on the pandemic. But the pandemic has not halted natural disasters, wars, or famines, and too many communities are still not safe. The Red Cross, as the “world’s largest humanitarian network”, understands that local action and small acts of kindness, can have a profound global impact.
Coronavirus and the travel restrictions the world has endured, have demonstrated how humanitarian action relies on local efforts. Locals not only understand their communities best, and know what is right for their residents, but they also know how to effectively deliver change.
Thus, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has channelled over 50 percent of all Covid-19 funds and donations to National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, where local communities are encouraged to engage in humanitarian aid.
World Red Cross Day
#Unstoppable is the theme of today’s World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day. Each year, this day is dedicated to commemorating the charity’s principles and values, and to pay tribute to those in the humanitarian agency.
This year, the charity is celebrating the huge achievements that the Red Cross and its 14 million volunteers have made. The charity reports that 650.5 million people worldwide, that’s one in every 12 people, are being medically supported with hygiene promotion activities. A further 106.2 million people have been provided clean water and sanitation systems, while 79.5 million people received food.
This work is only made possible by local volunteers that work to improve and assist their communities. In the words of the Red Cross, “this is the power of humanity, and it is #unstoppable”.
Despite the pandemic causing minor and major problems for everyone around the world, the Red Cross have gained hundreds of thousands of new volunteers, who are committed to global solidarity and global kindness. It will be these attitudes that enable the world to thrive again and become a more equal, safer place.
For more information about the work of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, and to donate or volunteer, please visit the ICRC website.