Diana Shaw

Diana writes on all things Red Cross.

Posts by Diana Shaw:

Help at the hardest time: supporting families after the Manchester bombing

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Woman holds a sign reading I love Manchester

Photo credit: Xinhua/Han Yan: Alamy

“Last Monday night, my mum texted me knowing that I was on shift,” said Amy Weston, a Red Cross emergency response volunteer.

“Something’s happened at the MEN [Manchester Arena].’

“I ended up ringing the person who was managing our volunteer shift that night. She said ‘you just need to stop, to chill out, get some rest and get ready just in case.”

The Red Cross works alongside the emergency services, councils and other voluntary sector partners in emergencies. The next day, the local authority asked the Red Cross to support the response efforts.

“On the way to work the next day, I got a call saying we’re going to need some support today, we’re opening up at the Etihad,” Amy said.

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“He was always looking after us” – Lee’s journey from Tunisia attacks to London Marathon

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Lee Stocker, wearing a British Red Cross vest top to train for the London Marathon, sits next to his wife Nicole

Lee Stocker and his wife Nicole © Evening Standard

“Without him, I don’t know how we would have coped.”

Lee Stocker is talking about Dr Howie Fine, a British Red Cross psychological and emotional support volunteer.

Lee’s parents Janet and John Stocker were among the 38 people killed during the beach attack in Sousse, Tunisia, two years ago.

To remember his parents and those who died, and to say thank you for Red Cross support, 38-year-old Lee is running the London Marathon.

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Sarah: a day in the life of a Syrian refugee in Lebanon

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Sarah sits in her tent with her daughter on her lap and her sons sitting on either side of her

© Andrew McConnell/British Red Cross

Sarah* is only 30 years old but her eyes tell of a hard life.

“I can’t think of anything that’s good that happens to me in my day,” Sarah says.

She has lived in Tripoli, Lebanon, in a makeshift tent for five years with her three children, two boys and a girl.

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Millions going hungry in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen: how you can help

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A woman in South Sudan holds a huge bag of Red Cross food on her head as two other people stand near her

Red Cross rations are helping to keep people alive in South Sudan – © Alyona Synenko/ICRC

You may have seen the news reports of famine in Africa and the Middle East recently.

Millions of people in four countries are facing relentless, crushing hunger.

Most have not had enough food for months or even years.

Parents are watching their children go hungry.

Here’s how you can help.

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When hunger threatens lives – Q&A on malnutrition and famine

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A man, woman and two children sit in front of a makeshift tent in a barren landscape in Yemen. The family may be facing famine.

Conflict has devastated Yemen and left millions in need of food – © Mohammed Yaseen Ahmed Ibrahim/ICRC

The word ‘famine’ conjures up images of emaciated people clinging on to life. It is a deeply sensitive term and should never be used lightly.

The United Nations has appealed this week for funds to avert famine in Yemen, a country left decimated by conflict.

But Yemen is not the only country in the world facing famine: severe food shortages in South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia are also putting lives in danger.

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When the monkey shakes its tail in Mongolia

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An old postage stamp from Monglia showing a money scratching its head and a space probe

© ConradFries

The people of Mongolia will soon welcome in the year of the rooster. At the same time, the year of the monkey will draw to a close.

And it will leave behind one of the coldest winters so far this century.

In the Mongolian astrology system, every year – running from around February to January – is represented by one of 12 animals.

People born in the year of the monkey are thought to be clever and playful.

But there is an ancient saying in Mongolia: when the monkey shakes its tail, it will bring on a dzud.

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Grants, ducks and cyclones: seven lessons from Bangladesh

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A man standing in a doorway holding a duck in each hand

What would you do if cyclones flooded the farmland you depend on every year?

Imagine living in an area that floods nearly every year.

For two to three months, you earn can no money and have to leave your home because it is surrounded by several feet of water.

Your house and farm animals can even get swept out to sea.

Despite working hard and saving between the cyclones, your family gets caught in this cycle year after year.

In 2013, the Red Cross, with our partner the Bangladesh Red Crescent, started supporting people in coastal villages in a new way.

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The power of a gran in Afghanistan

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Three women wearing Afghan Red Crescent pinneys and holding drawings of a mother and child sit on the floor in a row

If you were a granny in Afghanistan, you would be one of the most influential and respected members of your community.

“Afghan grandmothers are valued authority figures,” said Justin Dell, Afghanistan country manager at the British Red Cross.

“Many younger women in rural communities have to do what others tell them to do, particularly their fathers or husbands.

“But everyone will listen to grandmothers and follow their advice.

“This includes men, many of whom are the women’s own husbands, sons or sons-in-law.”

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