Geneva, November 24, 2011 – Today the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) held a special award ceremony during the 18th General Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, to honour volunteers for their remarkable actions in the humanitarian field.
Ms. Geri Lau, IFRC's head of organizational development, said: “Volunteers are the ones who make time for others and put themselves out there everyday, often risking their lives for the sake of humanity. Recognizing their altruistic efforts is of primary importance for us.”
Since 2003, the Henry Davison award, named after the IFRC’s founder, has been granted to outstanding individuals and National Societies for their valuable work towards improving the lives of the most vulnerable through initiatives that build the capacity of National Societies, and for their lifetime dedication to voluntary service.
Two distinguished contributors to the IFRC’s mission have been honoured with the Henry Davison Award this year: Dr. Kee-Sun Ham, Founder and President of Hanseo University and member of the Republic of Korea National Red Cross committee, and Dr. Ivan Usichenko, president of the Ukranian Red Cross Society.
Youth as agents of change
Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies have also been rewarded for outstanding programs enhancing the role of youth as agents of change in their communities.
The Costa Rica Red Cross was recognized for its creative initiative, after creating an online radio station run by the Costa Rica Red Cross Youth. This was seen as a powerful communication tool that reaches the youth by speaking its language.
The Bulgarian Red Cross won an award for bringing together young people from different ethnic origins in initiatives that promote integration among themselves and within communities.
The Irish Red Cross was commended for approaching HIV/AIDS stigma elimination and prevention, taking into account the effect religious beliefs may have on young people’s perception of the issue.
Finally, the Philippines Red Cross was awarded for raising the awareness of its youth volunteers on the impact and adverse effects of climate change in a fun and dynamic way.
Developing volunteer resources
When it comes to managing volunteers, whether in every day activities or during disasters – where every second is vital - an efficient and robust system can make the difference in saving lives.
The German Red Cross was praised for its impressive central volunteer management system, allowing volunteers’ team leaders to manage volunteer services from anywhere at anytime. The flagship program of the Australian Red Cross, ‘Save a mate’ won the prize for providing more than just first aid training by engaging young people in the prevention, recognition and response to issues that affect them directly. Also, both the Pakistan Red Crescent Society and the Uganda Red Cross Society have earned an award for their exceptional disaster management programs.
For further information on award winners, please contact:
Henry Davidson Awards:
Constantin Zibi Zibi – email@example.com
Ruut Maaria Mattsson – firstname.lastname@example.org
Oscar Zuluaga – email@example.com