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#464053 - 05/11/13 10:45 AM Red Cross Celebrates Globally, Locally
Marty Offline
On Wednesday Red Cross volunteers from around the world joined to celebrate World Red Cross Crescent Day. As a part of the local observance, today the Belize Red Cross held an Open Day inside the Bliss Parking lot – to showcase and educate the public on the purpose they serve. It was all demonstrated by youngsters themselves who played a major role in today's Open Day.


Lily Bowman, Director General of the Belize Red Cross
"Today we are having an awareness fair and it is in celebration of the day that we set aside for World Red Cross day which was Wednesday, 8th May. That day is celebrated all over the world and by all the 188 national societies. It is also the birthday of our founder, Henri Dunant, and so on that day we take the opportunity to let everybody know about the work we do; to invite people to come and join this happy family; to become volunteers and to share in the successes and to also listen to our needs and make a little contribution or to sign up as a volunteer. We also take the opportunity to bring out the school children and teach them a little bit about all the different areas we work in. We have today, the first aid sector, doing some practical techniques, teaching about CPR and first-aid and we also have the HIV and Aids program out here giving good solid facts about HIV and aids to the children; we also have the disaster risk reduction here, of course, very very significant being the month before the season opens; we have games which we are teaching children facts about disaster preparedness and of course we have a little section selling some pastries just to raise a few little coins for our operations and basically just letting everybody know what we do every single day in disaster, out of disaster, in preparedness, in health. We also started working with our youths in violence prevention; that is a new area so we are telling them about all these good things that we do"

Monica Bodden
"Can you speak to us about the importance of letting people know what you guys do on a day to day basis?"

Lily Bowman, Director General of the Belize Red Cross
"It's very very important, as a matter of fact, I get this comment sometimes, 'we never know what the red cross does', but I think people know, they just probably need to be reminded every now and then and so we take opportunities like this, World Red Cross day celelbration to let them know"

This year’s World Red Cross Crescent Day was celebrated under the theme "Together for Humanity".

Channel 7


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#470719 - 08/22/13 10:18 AM Re: Red Cross Celebrates Globally, Locally [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Belize Red Cross Celebrate a milestone

Ninety seven million volunteers worldwide belong to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The Red Cross was founded to protect human life and health, and to prevent and ease human suffering. Different incarnations of the movement has been in existence for over close to a hundred years, but the

Belize Red Cross is celebrating a milestone. Since its establishment in Belize in 1914, the Red Cross, an international medical care organization, dedicated to the remedial treatment of the sick or wounded in both World Wars and natural disasters, has been a staple in Belizean history.  On Sunday, the movement celebrated thirty years of recognition as part of civil society.  Executive Director Lily Bowman recounts the origin of the Belize Red Cross.

Lily Bowman, Executive Director, Belize Red Cross

“The Belize Red Cross completed thirty years of giving service to the people of Belize.  The movement in Belize stems all the way back from 1914 and we do have one picture that is evidence of the presence of some ladies in Benque Viejo del Carmen.  These are the ladies that used to knit warm clothes and send them to their husbands at war during World War One in Britain.  Since then, we became a charitable organization and then in the 1950s we became a branch of the British Red Cross.  We were still in our colonial years; however, when independence came to Belize in 1981, we started to take steps to become our own national society as the Belize Red Cross.  So, in 1983, on the eighteenth of August, the government recognized us and through an act of incorporation we became the Belize Red Cross in our own right as a national society.”

Throughout the years, the organization has been instrumental in looking after the wellbeing of the communities it serves.  The Belize Red Cross has also been the driving force behind the formation of the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired, as well as the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), to name a few.

Lily Bowman

Lily Bowman

“We have worked with children with disabilities.  As a matter of fact, the BCVI, the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired was borne out of the Red Cross.  We hosted the first disaster regional meeting here in Belize.  Shortly after that we formed our own disaster management committee and advocated between, 1999 to 2000, the Red Cross advocated for the formation of NEMO.  So, since then we have been very, very involved in capacity building our communities.  We have been focusing on, of course, not only relief during disasters but in training and educating people about how they can prevent certain diseases for instance or, in the case of disasters, mitigate their risks to hazards which can potentially become disasters afterwards.  We have been working with over fifty-nine communities to date.  We just finished fourteen more, we graduated the community members that were trained last week and we’re proud to say that we have been seeing the resilience within our communities in respect to responding, being the first responders to disasters within their own localities.”

The Belize Red Cross was formally recognized by the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1984, when it was inducted into the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva, Switzerland. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Channel 5


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