Jul 14, 2010, 11:45 AM
The staff and volunteers of the Gambia Red Cross Society, GRCS, recently commemorated World Red Cross Day, by brainstorming on their mandates, achievements and constraints, at an occasion held at its headquarters in Kanifing.
Present at the celebration also included some senior government’s officials, foreign dignitaries, and representatives of UNHCR.
Speaking at the occasion, Buba Darboe, who deputised for the Secretary-General of the GRCS, explained that since the establishment of the society in 1948, the Gambia Red Cross Society annually joins the movements to celebrate the historic and unique contribution that the Red Cross and Red Crescent movements have made to humanity.
According to him, it’s meant to reaffirm their commitment to share a promise to continue to give a voice to the millions of people and to strive to address their humanitarian needs.
Noting that it is indeed important to note that since founding of the Red Cross, the nature of crisis and war has continuously evolved, he said “among the challenges facing humanitarian action today is an increase in natural disaster and health emergencies.”
Mr Darboe added that the strategic drive of the Gambia Red Cross Society is principally based on the values of the Red Cross Movement of doing work and ensuring that all parties among the people understand that they do not take sides, because they are only interesting in helping those who are suffering, and that they do so with impartiality, regardless of nationality, origin, opinions or beliefs.
For his part, the President of the Gambia Red Cross Society, Mr Ebrima A.K Sanneh, stated that he is most delighted at the show of dedication by their young volunteers, as evidence by the increased pageantry of this year celebration.
He pointed out that the commemoration of the day throughout the world is highly significant, as they are able to seize the opportunity to reflect on their roles and also remind them of those roles.
According to him, Red Cross is a voluntary humanitarian organisation, whose role is auxiliary to public authorities in the humanitarian field.
Mr Sanneh further stated that they are involved in the health and social services, which include first aid, emergency response and epidemic control, blood service, water, sanitation and hygiene promotion, community based health care, among others.
The Regional Health Director of the West Coast Region, Alhagie Saine, who stood in for the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, told the gathering that the day was very significant to the Red Cross.
He pointed out that the Red Cross has an idea that has not only survive, but also flourish in the world, as he thanked the GRCS for their support to the victims of last year’s crop failure.