By Ndey Sowe
In a bid to celebrate the principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) on Sunday May 8 2022, commemorated World Red Cross Day.
To mark this important day, the GRCS organized a press conference at its Headquarters in Kanifing in observance of the day with Red Cross volunteers in the Gambia.
Every May 8, World Red Cross day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Henry Dunant, founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the recipient of the first Nobel Peace Prize.
The Day is an annual celebration of the principles ICRC when people in every corner of the world pay tribute to the humanitarian agency for their amazing contribution in helping people in need. Every year, the day is celebrated under a particular theme, and the theme for 2022 is: ‘Be Human Kind’.
With this year’s theme, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is putting kindness in the picture and is encouraging all to be kind to each other, with the aim of enlightening people that despite the world appearing scary and extremely tough, there is hope in humanity which can be found in the act of kindness.
The origin of World Red Cross Day dates back to World War I when the idea of an annual celebration for those who contributed to world peace was first raised. In 1936, the proposal called ‘Red Cross Truce’ was approved at the Tokyo conference. However, the then League of Red Cross Societies (LRCS) considered it only after World War II in 1946 and on 8th May 1948, the world celebrated its first Red Cross Day.
The day is extremely significant as it reminds everyone to never step back when it is their turn to show some gesture of kindness. There is high need to spread kindness amidst a world that faces problems like the shortage of food, severe natural calamities, war and epidemic diseases.
Jato Sillah, president of GRSC said they are reaffirming kindness to human kind under this year’s theme.
“The motive of celebrating the day is not only about growing the dignity of an individual called Henry Dunant, but about protecting the lives of the people from disaster and emergency situations,” Sillah said; that the day is celebrated worldwide by Red Cross organizations to assist people, keeping in mind the fundamental principles of the Red Cross organization such as independence, humanity, impartiality, neutrality, universality, unity and voluntarism. Sillah also explained that another primary reason for its celebration is to honor the services of staff and volunteers for their selfless services.
“The Red Cross day is one of the best ways to fight back any natural obsession. It promotes self-awareness and empowers youth to learn about the techniques and methods essential for the survival of our generation as well as the next generation. We should give thanks to Henry Dunant who first made us aware and gave us the potent tool required to keep humanity alive,” Sillah asserted.
Alasan Senghore, Secretary General of GRCS, dilated on this year’s theme saying acts of kindness are all around us and no matter how big or small, they always make huge differences in people’s lives.
“We believe that the act of kindness has the power to spark a ripple effect, to multiply, to spread across communities, countries and the whole world,” Senghore said. He continued: “We believe in the power of kindness. We pay tribute to all those individuals who selflessly help others in need. When all these small local actions multiply, the impact can be enormous,” he concluded.