Awards recognize remarkable humanitarian action by societies and volunteers

تم النشر: 25 نوفمبر 2011 17:16 CET

Katherine Roux

A special awards ceremony at the 18th General Assembly of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies honoured a select number of volunteers and National Societies for their remarkable actions in the humanitarian field. Held during the IFRC’s biennial assembly, which involves delegates from all 187 National Societies, the awards are an opportunity to recognise some of the outstanding achievements within the Movement.

Since 2003 the Henry Davison Award, named after the IFRC’s founder, has been granted to outstanding individuals or National Societies for their valuable work to improve the lives of the most vulnerable, through initiatives that build the capacity of National Societies individually, or as a network, thus strengthening the IFRC as a whole.

This year Dr. Kee-Sun Ham, a member of the Republic of Korea National Red Cross committee, and Dr. Ivan Usichenko, president of the Ukrainian Red Cross Society, were joint recipients of the award.

In order to recognize the value of volunteers in advancing humanitarian efforts, the IFRC presented the Volunteering Development Award to National Societies in three categories. The National Societies selected have either successfully engaged volunteers for community development, or demonstrated effective volunteer management systems.

The German Red Cross was awarded for its impressive central volunteer management system, allowing team leaders to manage volunteer services from anywhere at anytime. The flagship programme of the Australian Red Cross, ‘Save-a-mate’ won for engaging youth in the prevention and response to issues such as alcohol, drug abuse, emergency first aid and health promotion. The Pakistan Red Crescent Society and the Uganda Red Cross Society were both recognized for the development of exceptional disaster management programmes.

Several National Societies have also been recognised with the Youth Award, for outstanding programmes that enhance the role of youth as agents of change in their respective communities.

The Costa Rica Red Cross was awarded for launching an online radio station, ‘The adventure of being young’, run by the Costa Rica Red Cross Youth. The radio station engages with a diverse youth audience, and raises awareness on Red Cross activities including disaster and violence prevention, road safety, and health.

The Bulgaria Red Cross was recognized for their project titled, ‘Together for a better life’, which brings together youth from different backgrounds, training them as peer educators with the goal of eliminating prejudices and promoting a culture of tolerance and diversity.

The Irish Red Cross won for an HIV/AIDS awareness project that empowers peer educators, and is sensitive not only to diverse religious beliefs, but could also be modified to be appropriate for different age groups. It was developed and delivered by Irish Red Cross Youth.

The Philippines Red Cross was awarded for raising awareness among youth volunteers on the impact and adverse effects of climate change. ‘Run, plant and care for the mangroves and our environment’, is a five-day training workshop, which aims to rehabilitate and develop mangrove areas and ultimately, establish a mangrove nursery to sustain the project.