American Red Cross
Today celebrates a 150 years since a young Swiss business man saw people suffering and chose to take action. This man was Henry Dunant; he understood the power of an individual to make a difference. On the battlefield in Solferino, Italy, in 1859 he tended to the wounded and dying. When he returned home he founded what is today’s largest humanitarian organization, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
In its wake came the basis of modern international humanitarian law. Ninety years ago, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies was created to assist all people everywhere. Sixty years ago, in 1949, the Geneva Conventions were enshrined in law to reinforce legal protection for people affected by armed conflict.
Henry Dunant’s drive to reach out to his neighbors continues today in the hearts of 97 million volunteers who work in every corner of the globe. They are on the front line of every major humanitarian challenge facing the world today and tomorrow—the humanitarian consequences of climate change, migration and population movement, epidemics and public health emergencies, disaster response, violence in urban settings, food crisis, widespread poverty and armed conflict.
Our time is now. Our battlefield is everywhere someone is asking for help.
What will you do?Thanks to Jean-François Berger and Rosemarie North of the Red Cross Red Crescent Magazine for this insightful article!