Red Cross launches new humanitarian campaign


In a gesture of solidarity, the audience holds hands and sing along as …

It will also help to highlight the humanitarian and volunteer aspect of the organisation and the efforts of those who act selflessly to help others in times of need.

The campaign – Our World, Your Move – was launched locally on Thursday at the National Theatre as part of activities to commemorate Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, which coincided with the 20th birthday of the Red Cross Society of Seychelles (RCSS).

It also marked the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Solferino, in Italy, which led to the creation of the Red Cross and later the Red Crescent.

Public health commissioner Dr Jude Gedeon, Chief of Staff of the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF) Colonel Clifford Roseline, Bishop James Wong of the Anglican Church, and members and volunteers of the RCSS were among those present.

Addressing the guests, president of the RCSS Colette Servina said it was the small step of an individual – Swiss businessman Henry Dunant – that gave the world its biggest humanitarian organisation.

This group, she said, rallies around the most vulnerable to help and protect them from dangers that affect our planet. And one such issue is climate change.

Mrs Servina said the campaign theme serves to remind everyone that we should focus on adopting a culture of prevention and encourage action at individual, national and global level.

“Climate change is a significant global threat, posing some of the most pressing humanitarian challenges facing our world today,” she said.

She explained that among those challenges is the growing competition for water and natural resources, which results in large-scale voluntary migrations and forced displacements.

… singer Patrick Joseph performs his song The Healing Hands

Mrs Servina also said the patterns of vulnerability are changing as the humanitarian consequences of climate change combine with the effects of the energy, food and financial crisis.

The campaign calls on all of us to rethink strategies on how we can adapt to the current unprecedented humanitarian challenges, as well as those that lie ahead.

“The campaign is not only for Red Cross volunteers but a global call for action to address today’s key humanitarian challenges,” she said.

On behalf of the SPDF, Colonel Roseline accepted a batch of international humanitarian law (IHL) publications from the RCSS.

IHL provides a framework of protection for civilians and combatants alike in times of war, and it is part of the RCSS’s mandate to educate the public and forces such as the army and police about its guiding principles.

Colonel Roseline said the SPDF’s presence at the event is the product of its excellent cooperative and productive relations with the RCSS.

He added that the SPDF firmly believes respect for and protection of human rights are necessary to strengthen, maintain and promote sustainable development and to safeguard the basic security of our citizens.

Colonel Roseline accepts the batch of IHL publications from a representative of the RCSS

To give effect to all the IHL instruments, the commander in chief of the SPDF – President James Michel – has asked Chief of Defence Forces Brigadier Leopold Payet to create a comprehensive programme to integrate the law of war into the conduct of the defence forces.

“The commander in chief has issued directives to make the law an integral part of all military operations, behaviour of personnel, doctrine, education and military justice,” said Colonel Roseline.

Those present also enjoyed musical presentations by artists Joe Samy and Patrick Joseph. The two feature on an album compiled by a group of local artists to commemorate the RCSS’s 20th birthday.

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