The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are one of the only international movements that have touched and impacted millions across boundaries. They have aided people medically, provided shelters, built refugee camps and whatnot. Therefore, to show gratitude for preventing and alleviating human pain, 8th May is known as International Red Cross Day.
Whether it is providing services during a devastating pandemic or setting up refugee camps during world wars, the Red Cross society is always determined to make the world a better place to live. On their special day, we not only thank them for their services, but we also celebrate their principles, values, history, and the impact they had on global citizens.
For more than three years now, the world has been on its back foot, battling viruses, facing civil wars, depleting glaciers, and not forgetting the climate crisis. But even after all this, you can still find humanity in every act of kindness. Therefore, to celebrate the random acts of kindness the theme for this year’s Red Cross Day is #BeHumanKIND.
The International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) was founded by the First Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Dunant on 17 February 1863. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, ICRC has been doing all the humanitarian work of saving victims of international as well as internal armed conflicts. Based on their work, the Norwegian Nobel Committee presented Nobel Peace Prize to the International Committee of Red Cross in 1917, 1944 and 1963.
To honour the work of ICRC, and Henry Dunant, the first Red Cross and Red Crescent Day was held on 8 May 1948. Today, more than 192 countries are a part of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movements with the central aim to help those who suffer, without any discrimination, during any natural or fabricated disasters, chronic poverty, or armed conflicts.
Humanity – The purpose of the existence of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is to bring assistance and alleviate human suffering without any discrimination. The movement promotes mutual friendship, understanding, lasting peace and cooperation amongst all people.
Impartiality – The urgent and needy cases of distress are always given priority without any terms and conditions. The movement supports no discrimination based on race, nationality, class, religion or religious belief, and political trust.
Neutrality – Fueled by the passion to help the needy, suffering and the victims of wars globally, the movement never takes sides of anyone besides peace and humanity. It never indulges in any political, racial, or ideological debates.
Independence – The Movement is independent wherever it works. Even when the national societies help the governments execute their humanitarian work in accordance with the law of the country, they should maintain their autonomy to work without any biases.
Voluntary Services – It is a voluntary relief movement, and not in any circumstances will it be promoted for the benefit or desire of money.
Unity – There can be only one Red Cross society in any country, and it should be open to all. Anyone volunteering for relief work should do it with other volunteers in the whole territory.
Universality – Worldwide, every society of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement has equal status and shares similar duties and responsibilities in helping each other.
The world needs the act of kindness now more than ever. Thousands of people are losing their homes for the interest of just power and greed. It needs to get stopped. However, it is a prolonged process and until it gets done, let us be kinder to everyone and celebrate the true value of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement with #BeHumanKIND.