Hannah Omarjee | email@example.com
May 8, 2023, | 17:00 CAT
2 min read
World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, celebrated on May 8 each year since 1948, falls on the birthday of Henry Dunant, the founder of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The organisation has become the most prominent global humanitarian aid organisation serving approximately 150 individuals globally.
Dr Siyabonga Hlatshwayo – provincial manager for the Red Cross KZN, spoke with Radio Islam International to provide more details on the history and importance of the day.
According to Hlatshwayo, Henry Dunant, a humanitarian, was inspired while on a business trip from Switzerland to Italy. Dunant witnessed the horrors of war in Solferino and aided the wounded soldiers. He later documented his experiences in a book called “Memories of Solferino” and proposed the creation of a volunteer movement to assist people during times of conflict.
The Red Cross Society was created to offer aid during times of conflict and natural disasters, as well as to support government interventions in responding to disasters.
This year’s theme for Red Cross Day is ‘Everything we do comes #fromtheheart’.
Throughout May, interventions and activities will occur in communities nationwide to commemorate the day. Hlatshwayo said, “We are mostly appreciating the volunteers of the organisation that are always on the ground on a daily basis.”
Hlatshwayo said that the Red Cross has forty-nine branches and 49,000 volunteers in South Africa. The organisation can be found in various areas nationwide and can easily be contacted through its website. Those who want to join the Red Cross as volunteers can pay a membership fee of R100 at one of their offices or sign up on their website.
World Red Cross Day aims to honour the heroic efforts and sacrifices made by the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in providing humanitarian assistance and support to those affected by disaster situations. The day also highlights the values, mission, and activities of the Red Cross and acknowledges the dedication and courage of its members.
Listen to the full interview with Ml Junaid Kharsany on The Daily Round Up here