Albania receives ‘Mother Theresa’ Award as National Societies across Europe celebrate World RCRC Day and 150 years since the First Geneva Convention

Publié: 6 juin 2014 17:49 CET

By Andreea Anca, IFRC

World Red Cross Red Crescent Day created a real buzz across Europe this year as many National Societies organized an array of programmes around the 150th anniversary of the adoption of the First Geneva Convention and the global campaign – My Red Cross Red Crescent Story – which was launched on 8 May.

In Albania the day was marked with a special recognition of the Albanian Red Cross by the President of the country, Bujar Nishani, who handed over the prestigious ‘Mother Theresa’ award to the National Society in recognition of its long-term contribution for  fulfilling the voluntary mission to assist vulnerable people, strengthen the solidarity of the Albanian society and the values of cooperation.

Shyqyri Subashi, the president of  the Albanian Red Cross, was also granted the Award for Special Civil Merits.

Humanitarian Action in Focus

The award ceremony took place within the opening of the national drawing exhibition ‘Children and the Red Cross’ with the latter marking the final stage of a competition which promotes humanitarian values among young people,. The focus this year was on the commemoration of the First Geneva Convention.

To evoke a century and a half of humanitarian action, a number of National Societies in Europe organized public events that brought war closer to the population. The photo installation organized by the Danish Red Cross for instance, was a unique collaboration between the experienced war photographer Jan Grarup, musician, Mikael Simpson, and the artist collective, ArtRebel.

The Red Cross Society of Georgia cooperated with  the Senaki drama theatre to stage a play about the Movement and its founder, Henry Dunant.

My Red Cross Red Crescent Story campaign was promoted locally by the National Societies through posters, banners, postcards and videos that featured Red Cross volunteers and staff members, and others who have a Red Cross story to share.

One of the most unlikely participants was the Hungarian rescue dog Aqua, who posted his own Red Cross story on the Hungarian Red Cross tumblr site (in Hungarian):

His is a story of courage and endurance as he has continued to win awards and to work in places struck by disasters even after he broke one of his legs during a training exercise. Doctors no longer considered him fit for rescue operations, but after a year of hard rehabilitating treatment he was back on track. His will and determination made him a raw model to both his canine and humans Red Cross colleagues.