Listen: How do you help 144,000 refugees in a camp built for 50,000 people?

The Nyarugusu refugee camp in Tanzania was built in 1997 to house 50,000 people.

Today, it’s home to more than 144,000 people.

Its population has swelled with the recent influx of refugees from neighbouring Burundi, where violence has forced thousands to flee.

British Red Cross aid worker Kenny Hamilton has just returned from Tanzania and says the situation in the camp is hugely concerning.


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How I saved my ‘human fireball’ husband

Burned-hand-sitting-couple-BLOGWhen an explosive garden incinerator engulfed her husband in flames, Frances Lewis was at a loss what to do – until she remembered the first aid leaflet which had arrived in the post days earlier.

The first thing Frances heard was a huge bang.

Spinning round, she saw a ferocious fireball envelop her husband Oliver as he stood just yards away from her in their garden.

(He had been burning garden waste in an incinerator, when the petrol he was using exploded.)

Once the flames subsided, a traumatised Frances could immediately see her husband’s left forearm and hand were badly burned. More

Nepal: desperate 11 hour journey for help after miscarriage

© Niki Clark/IFRC

© Niki Clark/IFRC

Dozens of tiny villages dot the mountainsides near Singati, a once-bustling market town devastated by Nepal’s earthquakes.

These communities, some just clusters of five or ten homes, were devastated too. Now the families that built them live in makeshift shelters of tarpaulins and rubble.

The villagers walk for hours to reach the temporary Red Cross clinic in Singati, which sees up to 70 patients a day. The chance to get help and receive medicine – sometimes drugs as basic as aspirin – is worth the long trek.

The team at the clinic includes Dr Johnnes Schad. Shaking his head in disbelief, Dr Schad says: “The day before I arrived a woman who had suffered a miscarriage was brought in to the clinic. Family members carried her in a basket on their backs for 11 hours to get here. Situations like this are common. It is unreal. Just completely unreal.” More

Why I went to fight Ebola… three times

©IFRC/DingemanRijken

The Ebola outbreak is far from over. The disease has once again reared its head in Liberia, which had been declared Ebola-free. Recent spikes in cases in Sierra Leone and Guinea also show there is no room for complacency.  

Michelle Gundry, an intensive care nurse from Coventry, has worked at our Ebola treatment centres in Sierra Leone on three occasions. The mother-of-two recalls why she felt the need to help and the humanity that she found.

I’d never worked in a humanitarian crisis before. It wasn’t something I’d ever thought about doing.

I couldn’t ignore the images or stories in the media from West Africa. I had the skills and knowledge to help, so there were no excuses not to. More

Jools Oliver: who knew first aid was such fun?

JoolsOliver-laughing-BLOGAs our ‘Rapped Up’ first aid campaign for little ones hits the UK, the top celebrity mum explains why she decided it was time to learn life-saving skills.

Accidents always happen when you have children. And with four, I have my hands full.

My youngest, Buddy, has had a few incidents choking on food (due to laughing with his sisters at the dining table), so we always have to watch out.

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How to spot a first aider at a flower show

Flower beds

The sunshine and showers of our great British summer have done their work and gardens across the country are in full bloom. If you’re off to an outdoor event soon, you may see some of our volunteers in action. But would you be able to spot a first aider at a flower show?

The event first aider, member of the primo auxilium species, is a very special breed. While no two are the same, they do share some distinctive features which make them possible to identify – for those in the know.

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Pictures and play help Nepal’s children find their voice

©Eliza Cheung/IFRC

©Eliza Cheung/IFRC

Three months after the Nepal earthquake, the Red Cross is helping traumatised children rebuild their lives.

In a health centre in Nepal, Eliza Cheung leafs through page after page of drawings. They are of all the same subject; a detailed Buddha. Sketches in crayon, pen and pencil.

The mother of the 12-year-old boy who created them died in April’s earthquake. Now the boy’s father has abandoned him.

The boy was brought to a health clinic in the village of Melamchi and eventually to Eliza, a Red Cross clinical psychologist.

“I’m not quite sure what it means yet, but [his drawings] really touch me,” Eliza says. “This is not a simple picture. I think he is trying to find ways to remember his mother. It is quite a traumatic experience for someone so young to go through.” More