The day my dad disappeared

Credit: Matthew Stewart.

Credit: Matthew Stewart.

Twenty-year-old Doaa thought her father was dead. Her family had been torn apart by the conflict in Syria and her father was missing. She was now living with her mother in the UK.

But two years later, they were all back in contact – thanks to the British Red Cross’ international family tracing service. More

Hunger, fear and 45 degree heat: witnessing the Iraq crisis

A girl walks across a dirt road

© Kenny Hamilton

Months of fighting have brought devastation to Iraq. The UN estimates 1.2million Iraqis have been forced from their homes by the violence.

Hundreds of thousands have fled to Kurdistan, a more stable region in the north of the country, in search of safety. And many people’s first hours in the region have included a welcome from the Iraqi Red Crescent Society. Its staff and volunteers have been greeting new arrivals with clean water and hot food – giving essential aid and a crucial psychological boost. More

Clean water boosts health in Zimbabwe

a child drinks from a mug

© Tatu Blomqvist/IFRC

In Zimbabwe, dirty water and poor hygiene knowledge put communities at risk of fatal diseases such as cholera. Young children are among the most vulnerable.

But in the province of Masvingo, a project run by the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society is helping keep people safe and healthy. It is installing or fixing 400 public water pumps, and setting up committees to help local people manage and maintain them.

The four-year project, which is supported by the British Red Cross, is also set to give 36,000 people access to latrines and 100,000 people vital hygiene information. This will encourage handwashing and other behaviour that prevents the spread of diseases. More

Finding the sister lost during the Second World War

Bozenka Pearson. Credit: Ghee Bowman

Bozenka Pearson. Credit: Ghee Bowman

Every Sunday, Bozenka Pearson settles down with a cup of tea and dials the number of her half-sister in Poland for a catch-up. The sisters chat in Polish, sharing news of their health and families. The conversation is so relaxed that no-one would guess it’s been only eight months since they spoke for the very first time…

“I always wanted to find my half-sister,” says Bozenka. “My father used to talk about her and her mother, and just before he died he said to me that one of the things he really regretted was that he could never trace his oldest daughter. And I just thought I wanted to do it.”

That’s when Bozenka got in touch with the British Red Cross’ international family tracing service. More

After the Ice Bucket Challenge: where do genius fundraising ideas come from?

Ice-Bucket-ChallengeBLOGFundraising is a famously imprecise science. And as the past week has shown, sometimes the best ideas come from the grassroots, oddballs – or even mistakes.

Listen closely.

That faint, buzzing noise you can (almost)] hear is the whirring of thousands of professional fundraising brains, each trying to come up with the next blockbuster idea. More

‘When people run from burning homes, I’m waiting to help them’

UNP BRC  32297Whittlesea  Jayne Ross018_600_350What makes someone spend their time helping strangers caught up in house-fires? Jayne Ross describes her high-octane life with our most hardcore volunteer service.

Imagine for a moment your home caught fire.

Imagine the fear of running for your life from a burning building. Imagine the realisation that all your most treasured things are still in there. Then imagine standing out on a cold, wet street at three in the morning in just your night-clothes.

Horrific as it sounds, this actually happens to hundreds of people each year. And that, in a nutshell, is why I’m a fire and emergency support (FES) volunteer. More

Feeding families on the move in Iraq

  • Aid is loaded into lorries in Iraq Aid is loaded into lorries in Iraq
  • Aid distribution in Iraq Aid distribution in Iraq
  • Little girl carries water tanks in Iraq Little girl carries water tanks in Iraq
  • Iraqi Red Crescent aid distribution Iraqi Red Crescent aid distribution
  • Man collects aid in Iraq Man collects aid in Iraq

Violence in Iraq has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Many are making long journeys across the borders to escape the fighting. The Iraqi Red Crescent Society has been helping families on the move, providing vital food and water.

See them in action in these photos and make a donation to help bring food, water, shelter and healthcare to people affected by the violence.

World Humanitarian Day: Why we must protect aid workers

Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers in the Occupied Palestine Territory are undertaking vital humanitarian work. They are working to protect the lives of civilians – who make up a disproportionately large number of casualties in this conflict – in the spirit of the Movement’s Fundamental Principles.

On World Humanitarian Day, watch our video and see why it’s crucial aid workers around the world are allowed to work in safety.