Aid worker describes life off the map

A woman stands in front of a painting of a red cross

© Matthew Percival/BRC

The Missing Maps project is urging volunteers to go online and help map some of the world’s most vulnerable countries. This work will make sure communities are better placed to withstand and recover from disaster.

British Red Cross logistician Megan Bassford explains why taking part could make a huge difference to people hit by crisis.

Megan’s job includes getting aid and aid workers past mudslides, military checkpoints and hundreds of other obstacles in the wake of disasters. Without people like her, vital help such as food parcels and blankets would never reach those who need it most. More

Ebola outbreak: “I’m good, don’t worry about me”

©IFRC/VictorLacken

©IFRC/VictorLacken

Sylla Fatoumata’s mobile phone vibrates every few minutes, making the table between us wobble.

Occasionally she glances at the screen and smiles. “My boys,” she tells me, shaking her head and laughing. “They contact me every day to see how I am.”

But Sylla is not a mother. The 28-year-old is the youngest of three sisters and, when the Ebola virus disease crept into Guinea’s capital Conakry, in March, she became the Red Cross focal point for safe and dignified burials in the city.

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Meet Jess: the humble life-saver

Jess-Bradley-HCA-winner-BLOGJess Bradley has won a major award after saving the life of a man with a horrific injury – but she doesn’t see anything remarkable about her actions.

Today, Shetland Islander Jess Bradley was given a young heroes’ award by the British Red Cross.

And no wonder. Even a mere mention of the disturbing scene she had to deal with (helping a man with a deep gash in his neck) would be enough to make most people feel queasy.

But the trained first aider is surprisingly blasé about the whole incident. As she puts it: “I didn’t think it was anything remarkable – it was what I’d been trained to do, an instinct.” More

Red Cross Ebola nurse: ‘I’m no hero, I’m just doing my job’

©IFRC/VictorLacken

©IFRC/VictorLacken

Tackling Ebola on the front line is an emotional experience, but I’m glad I’m here, writes British Red Cross nurse Marjorie Lee.

Am I a hero? Not for one minute. I’m just somebody helping somebody else. And people here in Sierra Leone, as in Guinea and Liberia, need our help.

I arrived two weeks ago. The first thing that strikes you is how incredibly friendly people are. Everyone you pass says “hello” or “how are you?”

The manager of our hotel in Freetown kept thanking me for coming. He hasn’t left the hotel compound in weeks, he’s too afraid to go out. He sends people out on errands to get him things.

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Looking for loved ones in the First World War

Red Cross enquiry department for wounded soldiers: Boulogne 1917.

Red Cross enquiry department for wounded soldiers: Boulogne 1917.

Every year, we try to help people find missing family, after they go missing in a disaster or conflict. This service is now 100 years old – and it all started on the First World War battlefields.

Many soldiers went missing during the First World War. Families back home had no idea what had happened – or if their loved ones were even alive.

At the time, The Sunday Times wrote that “anxious mothers and wives began to plead that someone should look for men who had disappeared to a silence as still and more cruel than the grave”. More

Ebola outbreak: reporting from Sierra Leone

©IFRC/VictorLacken

©IFRC/VictorLacken

Ebola leaves a lasting impression on everyone who encounters it. Here John Templeton, a freelance cameraman with Channel 4 News, recounts his recent experience of filming a series of reports featuring Red Cross teams in Sierra Leone (scroll down to watch the reports).   

Working as a freelance television cameraman means a phone call from a client can quickly lead to getting off a plane somewhere most people would do their utmost to avoid.

Wars, natural disasters and civil disturbances have their own rules of behaviour you must follow if you’re going to do your job well and leave unscathed. It’s usually expensive and difficult to cover such stories, so you had better do justice to the story.

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