By Mahieash Johnney, Zafran Packeerally, Naveendra Senarathna of Red Cross Communications in Sri Lanka
08/05/2012 – Colombo, Sri Lanka: To mark this year’s World Red Cross Red Crescent Day on 8th May, the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society is celebrating the contributions of young people and encouraging their continued action and leadership under the global theme, “Youth on the move”.
In solidarity with the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society hosted several humanitarian activities today throughout the country. The national event was held in Rambewa, Anuradhapura.
Here’s a snapshot of the events that unfolded across the country in view of World Red Cross Red Crescent Day 2012.
200 families in Rambawa Diviyaudabandawewa village who were displaced by the 2010 floods received new houses today, which was constructed by the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
The Director General of SLRCS Tissa Abeywickrama at a ceremony held in Diviyaudabandawewa today (8th May 2012) vested the houses in the public.
Meanwhile a community center and tractors for farmers in the area were also presented to the public at the national event held today.
Bharatha Jonikkuhewa – Vice President of SLRCS, Bob McKerrow – Head of IFRC Sri Lanka, Angelina Adler, ICRC WatHab Coordinator, SLRCS Branch Chairman E. R. Thilakaratne along with staff of SLRCS and many other distinguished guests were present at the event.
Meanwhile a blood donation campaign was also organized at the village with the support of the District Medical Officer. Many villagers took part in donating blood.
Along with the blood donation camp another medical camp was also held in the vicinity to help the people in the area to check their medical health free of charge.
Meanwhile several events to celebrate the World Red Cross Day were held by branches of SLRCS located island wide.
Based on this year’s theme “Youth on the Move” focusing the strength of our Youth in making a difference a youth team-building event was held by the Matale Branch.
Over 50 youth members took part in the event.
In Vavuniya the SLRCS Branch organized a blood donation campaign where many volunteered to give blood. A graduation ceremony for students who excelled in their computer studies from the SLRCS Vavuniya Branch Technical Centre also took place in view of the World Red Cross Day.
Steps were also taken to recruit more volunteers from the area by holding a dansal where the public were served with soft drinks and were educated about volunteering for the Red Cross.
The Mannar SLRCS Branch organized another blood donation campaign. Several other youth teams also were deployed to conduct Shramadana’s in the villages within the district and also to clean up the environment to prevent the rise of dengue in the area.
Meanwhile the Kurunegala branch has taken steps to organize a blood donation campaign on the 15th of May 2012.
The Ampara SLRCS Branch also held a blood donation campaign and a dissemination programme to school children on values of the Red Cross and its principles to commemorate the World Red Cross Day with the participation of its youth wing.
Meanwhile a special awareness program on lighting hazard and how to be safe from frequent lightings were also conducted in collaboration with government Disaster Management Centre. This awareness was given to more than 300 students in Namal Oya and Namal Thanlawa areas.
In Hambantota the volunteers, youth and staff members of the SLRCS branch celebrated World Red Cross Day at the Metta Children’s home. The said Children’s home is located in a remote part of Hambantota where around 30 children are housed. Educative programmes such as singing, dancing, painting and other activities were conducted. Special steps were also taken to disseminate the true message of the Red Cross and its fundamental principles.
Meanwhile volunteers, youth and staff members of the SLRCS Matara branch celebrated the World Red Cross Day by engaging in a shramadana campaign to clean the Rohana Special School for Children with hearing and vision disabilities.
Over 50 volunteers and youth took part in the event, which was organized under the leadership of the branch chairman.
Meanwhile the Batticaloa SLRCS branch under the support of the Military and the Police of the district also organized another blood donation campaign.
Many individuals took part in the event.
In Mullativu branch volunteers engaged in a Shramadana Campaign in the area in order to help keep the environment clean which would aid the fight against Dengue. Steps were also taken to hold a dissemination programme for Volunteers and Staff helping them to understand more about the Red Cross Movement.
In Kandy the SLRCS Branch organised several events including a walk through the city, educating the public with regard to the work of the Red Cross Movement. A shramadana campaign was also organised within the city in order to ensure the eradication of dengue.
The branch officials also distributed First Aid kits to 9 leading schools in the city.
Meanwhile the Badulla branch volunteers engaged in a Shramadana campaign to clean the Sangabo Children’s home in Bandarawela. Many volunteers took part in the event.
Monaragala branch committee decided to organize a Dissemination programme and Shramadana campaign at Wellawaya division with the funding support of ICRC.
These programmes were held at Hadapanagala hospital in whole day including cleaning, digging the pit for garbage, painting the wall etc…
The volunteers and the members of Wellawaya units, other villagers, branch Hony Secretary, Wellawaya division Chairman, BEO and some staff members participated in the event.