Manila, Philippines – World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day (WRCRCD) is a celebration of the work of those who volunteer with the International Federation of Red Cross ad Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). IFRC is the world’s largest humanitarian organization that provides worldwide relief. It has around 97 million members and volunteers in about 170 countries and helps over 233 million people every year.
One account has it that the origin of the celebration dates back to 1922, when the Czechoslovakia Red Cross National Society proclaimed a three-day truce at Easter to promote peace. May 8 was subsequently chosen to coincide with the birthday of Jean Henri Dunant, the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 1863 in Geneva, Switzerland.
National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies exist in almost every country of the world today. There are 186 National Societies recognized by the ICRC. Most of them use the Red Cross as their official emblem. The Red Crescent is used in place of the Red Cross in Islamic countries.
In celebration of WRCRCD 2012, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chapter in Compostela Valley will launch a program which won the 2011 Youth on the Move Award dubbed “Dagan, Tanum, ug Amomahan ang Bakawan ug Kinaiyahan (Run, Plant, and Care for the Mangroves and the Environment): A Red Cross Call for All.”
The mangrove planting and activity which will commence at Purok Maki-angayon (Pasil), Barangay Cuambog, Mabini, Compostela Valley, aims to rehabilitate 2.87 hectares of mangroves in the next three to five years as part of the risk reduction efforts in the province. The activity runs parallel with the promotion of a healthy lifestyle through aerobic exercises and a 3K, 5K, 10K fun run. PRC will train recipient-communities on preparedness on safety services, basic life support cardiopulmonary resuscitation training, and organization of response teams. The PRC Kalinga Chapter will hold a “Walk for Humanity” to raise awareness on all the services that the PRC and RCS provide worldwide.
As we mark World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day this year, let us honor the fine noble men and women who have selflessly dedicated their lives so that others may live longer and safer in their dignity as persons. Let us pray for their safety as well, that many more individuals and families may benefit from their services. CONGRATULATIONS!