Walmer and Walter: The Red Cross twins
These two brothers have everything in common. They say that not even the smallest differences, like hairstyles, will help when it comes to identifying them; if you are distracted, you could already be talking to the other without noticing; they can just change places for some reason to create confusion. Even they do not even know who was the first to be born, since, although when they were born their cribs were identified, when the nurses returned them to the cribs they did not know if they were putting them in the correct one.Their story is full of coincidences; they share everything. Someone says that they are not twins but siamese, because they do everything together, they study the same career and they both dedicate their free time to the institution that, according to them, is giving them the opportunity to help those who need it most. They combine their medical studies with the noble vocation of volunteering in the Barinas branch of the Venezuelan Red Cross.Walmer believes that having created bonds of friendship and fellowship with his volunteer friends and the community has allowed him to better understand the most urgent needs of vulnerable people. His biggest dream is to graduate as a doctor and use his knowledge to help people who live in communities with health care needs.Walter smiles as his brother speaks. His joy is because he knows that when they are medical professionals, they will surely also go together to fulfill their nobel mission of saving lives not only as professionals but also as volunteers of the Venezuelan Red Cross.Their family is happy because they know about the social work they do; their parents are happy to know that not only do they learn at university in their medical career, but they also get important knowledge and training with the work they do with the Venezuelan Red Cross. They know that there are days when they will not see them because they even prepare they backpacks with enthusiasm to volunteer to help those who need it the most.Stories like those of Walmer and Walter also motivate their fellow volunteers because they preach by example their commitment to save lives without expecting anything return.
"I dream of a healthy and happy community"
At first sight, Maria Elena is a shy, reserved woman who speaks little. She can not hide her smile of happiness when she notices the arrival of Idanic and Marilyn, Venezuelan Red Cross volunteers who are supporting the community in the development of the livelihood project that will allow this community to strengthen its local capacities and be more resilient.María Elena lives in the community of Mirador de la Lagunita, a town located an hour and a half from Caracas. In this small community, this community leader is vital when it comes to organizing her colleagues and neighbors in community work.She takes a deep breath when she remembers that she had to return two years ago from the Dominican Republic to take care of his father who was in poor health. She returned with seven months of pregnancy, now her son is going to be one year old, and she only hopes that her Dominican-born partner will soon be with them in the Mirador de la Lagunita.Between laughs and gestures of gratitude towards the volunteers of the Venezuelan Red Cross, María Elena dreams of a healthy and happy community. Idanic and Marylin, volunteers of the Venezuelan Red Cross, continuously encourage her to keep going. For her part, she keeps reminding them that she wants to do the planned activity with the children, in the next few days, with her favorite volunteers. María Elena is also a teacher in the community school and the promoter of the "Community Pot". She enthusiastically tells us that she has taken on the great challenge of raising her community in the company of the other leaders who, like her, work hand in hand along with the Venezuelan Red Cross.
Venezuela: responding to the needs of the people
For the Red Cross, responding to the most urgent needs of the Venezuelan population is the number one priority.The Venezuelan Red Cross has a 124-year presence in the country, providing assistance and relief through its network of 24 branches, eight hospitals and 33 outpatient clinics. The Venezuelan Red Cross does humanitarian work 365 days a year through its various programmes, and in 2018 alone reached around 1 million Venezuelans, with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the ICRC.Our humanitarian support is based on the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, especially those of Neutrality, Impartiality and Independence. This approach allows Red Cross teams to access affected populations, respond to their needs and ensure the safety of our staff and volunteers; this must be a priority for all actors involved in a situation.
| Press release
Venezuela: Respect and protect our neutrality and impartiality, says Red Cross President
Caracas/Geneva, 8 February 2019 – The President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has strongly defended principled humanitarian action, calling on stakeholders in Venezuela and around the world to respect the neutral, impartial and independent nature of the Red Cross’ humanitarian work in the country.Speaking at a press conference in the Venezuela capital Caracas, IFRC President Francesco Rocca said:“The focus of the Red Cross in Venezuela – as it is around the world – is on responding to the needs of the people, without regard for their social status or political views”, said Mr Rocca.“This commitment to humanitarian principles – to neutrality, impartiality and independence – means that Red Cross volunteers are trusted and able to reach communities and people in need. Our work is not political. Don’t politicize us,” said Mr Rocca.The situation in Venezuela is evolving constantly. According to the UN, more than 3 million people have left the country since mid-2017 – an historic phenomenon that has triggered humanitarian relief efforts across the region, while also creating knock-on effects in Venezuela.The Venezuelan Red Cross has more than 2,600 active volunteers across the country and operates eight hospitals and 38 outpatient clinics. In 2018 alone, these facilities provided services to more than 1 million Venezuelans.“I want to also recognize the tremendous dedication and courage of Red Cross volunteers,” said Mr Rocca. “We salute you, we stand with you, and we are ready to scale up and expand our support so that you have the resources to reach all those who need your help.”
| Press release
Media Advisory: Red Cross President in Venezuela
Geneva/Caracas, 7 February 2019: The President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Francesco Rocca, will be in Venezuela between 8-10 February.He will be taking part in a press conference at 13h00 on Friday 8 February at:Venezuelan Red Cross HeadquartersEdificio Cruz Roja VenezolanaFinal av Andres Beloo #4, CaracasDuring his visit, he will meet Red Cross emergency teams, volunteers and leadership. He will be discussing humanitarian needs in the country and the Red Cross’ response, and will highlight the importance of neutral, independent and impartial humanitarian action.