Every day, most of the seven billion people in the world are touched by the Red Cross and Red Crescent without even realizing it. Almost everyone — or someone they know — has donated blood or received a first aid tip or been visited by a volunteer, perhaps without knowing it was their local Red Cross or Red Crescent in action.
Today, May 8, is World Red Cross Red Crescent Day, the day we celebrate the power of community and people helping people, both in the spotlight during crises and behind-the-scenes in day-to-day life. On this day, the presidents of the ICRC and the IFRC share with the world their common story.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement — comprising the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and 189 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies — celebrates more than 150 years of humanitarian action worldwide. Across the globe, the Red Cross and Red Crescent helps support people every day of every year — in community programmes, responding to crises and inspiring hope.
OUR COMMON STORY
By Tadateru Konoé, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross
Someone once said that dreaming is like planning. Who knew that one person’s dream to help people would become so universal that it would touch almost every one of us in our modern-day world?
Almost everyone – or someone they know – has donated blood or received a first aid tip or been visited by a volunteer, perhaps not realizing it was the Red Cross or Red Crescent in action. Almost everyone has a Red Cross or Red Crescent story.
Long before the International Red Cross and Red Cross Movement came into existence, people have been drawn to help each other: out of compassion, kindness and hope. Today the Movement provides a space where people can mobilize, share their aspirations, and act on them together – for greater impact.
In our world where disorder seems constant and suffering never stops, we believe hope will not diminish but instead grow stronger. Looking far into the future we believe people will still want to help other people. The desire to be connected to each other will increase, not decline. It’s simply human nature.
In our societies, increasingly characterised by virtual interactions, the proximity of our 17 million Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers to vulnerable people in their local communities is ever more vital. The importance of real, human connections when responding to crises and empowering development cannot be overstated.
In 1859, Henry Dunant dreamed of helping wounded people on a battlefield. This was the impetus for our worldwide Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement whose sole mission was to bring relief to vulnerable people, now also to build stronger communities.
Our 17 million volunteers reach more many more millions of people each year. In fact, there is a Red Cross or Red Crescent presence in almost every community in the world, from rural villages to urban metropolises.
In recent history, volunteers together with Movement partners have responded to the triple disaster in Japan, earthquake in Haiti, conflict in Syria and more, connecting the affected communities to the world through social media and other channels in our interconnected globe. Their numbers and impact will only continue to grow.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is committed to providing relevant and timely humanitarian services to vulnerable communities now and in the future. Today almost everyone has a Red Cross or Red Crescent story. Years from now, they still will.
May 8 is World Red Cross Red Crescent Day celebrating the power of community and people helping people. Share your Red Cross or Red Crescent story at ifrc.tumblr.com.
For more information click on this press release.
Here is ICRC President Peter Maurer’s Red Cross Story.
ICRC New Delhi