Celebrating World Red Cross Day

Chobe Volunteers:They came together on Sunday 8th May to celebrate their volunteerism with cutting of cake in Kasane Pic:Nonofo Mojatlale
Chobe Volunteers:They came together on Sunday 8th May to celebrate their volunteerism with cutting of cake in Kasane Pic:Nonofo Mojatlale

In a bid to commemorate the principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the World Red Cross Day is celebrated on May 8 every year. 

The day also marks the birth anniversary of Henry Dunant, who is the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the recipient of the Nobel Prize. The courage, compassion, and kindness in saving lives and alleviating suffering amid the chaos of war inspired the founder to celebrate this day on this date.

In the last two years, crises and disasters have spared almost no one. The COVID-19 pandemic, armed conflicts and violence, the climate crisis and climate-related disasters, environmental degradation, food insecurity and massive population displacements are hitting the world’s most vulnerable groups hard, and many lack the means and resources to adapt.

May 4-8 came as an opportunity for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement including Botswana Red Cross Society as well as the nation spread volunteers to be united in this unwavering commitment to a common humanity. Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) reaffirmed its fundamental principles, which are at the heart of everything they do to assist people in need.

With celebrations going on for a week, BRCS realised that kindness and humanity are among the most powerful tools that people must withstand the harsh impacts of conflict, climate change, COVID-19 and other crises like natural disasters and spark hope. This saw different BRCS branches across the country going out in kindness to reinforce the government’s fight against COVID-19. BRCS branch in Kasane was involved in a series of events in commemoration of this day.

“BRCS couldn’t be any happier this month as we continued to do what we normally do. Kasane Branch had the opportunity to disinfect classrooms in Plateau Primary School and shared information about COVID-19 and behaviour change,” said Benah Sekgabo, BRCS communications and public relations officer.

Besides the above, the staff and volunteers have been supporting communities by visiting clinics and talking about the importance of monitoring one’s well-being, STIs, COVID-19, and condom demonstrations.

Amongst other activities that happened during this week was litter-picking in Bokaa. “Big or small, seen or unseen, every act of kindness matters, brings hope and breeds more kindness, and today, we pay tribute to all those individuals who selflessly help others in need. When all these small local actions multiply, the impact can be enormous,” Sekgabo said.

She added that these volunteers are COVID-19 first responders, working tirelessly to prevent the spread of the virus and support those most affected. They are on the ground in disaster and conflict-hit places, checking in on neighbours and strangers, ushering them to safety and care, providing first aid and distributing essential supplies. They are the people who routinely put others first in the service of their communities.

Speaking on the day, the secretary-general of the BRCS, Kutlwano Mukokomani applauded and encouraged volunteers to continue with the good work they display every day of serving their communities with passion.

“Every day, Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers see first-hand how kindness relieves suffering, brings comfort, lights up the darkest moments, and restores dignity.

Amid so much hardship, loss and uncertainty, we encourage people around the world to believe in the power of kindness and to keep the kindness coming,” he said.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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