Below is the message from the President of Sri Lanka Red Cross Society in view of World Red Cross Red Crescent Day 2014.
On the 8th of May 2014, our Red Cross and Red Crescent brothers and sisters across this big world will commemorate and celebrate an idea that began over 150 years ago. The idea that Henry Dunant brought to this world has now become the base for world’s humanity and continues to be the call to end human suffering the world over.
In Sri Lanka, we the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society has continue to resonate this same voice of Henry Dunant for closer to 80 years, helping the most vulnerable and ensuring that lives are saved by our work.
The tsunami 10 years ago presented us with an unprecedented challenge that surpassed our capabilities and challenged us towards new heights, pressing us to ensure a high quality of humanitarian service to our fellow beings in this island. Since then we have gone beyond mere constructions of houses and towards providing a holistic package of service to the people we serve. We have excelled in areas such as First Aid, Water & Sanitation, Health & Care, Livelihoods, and very especially in Disaster Management. This very reason has made us to meet people from various walks of lives who’ve we been able to touch their lives through our efforts.
In this context we believe almost everyone has a Red Cross story, that every person – or someone they know – has been touched by us. Perhaps they donated blood or received a first aid tip or were visited by a volunteer, not knowing it was the Red Cross in action.
I am humbled to share my Red Cross story with you. It begins with the story of my father being very active in the Red Cross and that made me to be a volunteer in my youth days. We were involved in providing relief for people suffering for a chronic drought way back in the 70’s. During that time I understood the importance of being able to help another human being and the reward it brings. This is what kept me locked into this selfless service.
My Red Cross story is now my life story. I have been a volunteer, a staff member and now I am humbly honored to be the leader of this great national society. My story still continues. The solidarity and spirit of togetherness that we share in serving the vulnerable ensures this.
I wish you the very best the spirit of humanity has to offer.
Sri Lanka Red Cross Society
8th May 2014.