Sam Smith

Sam brings you the latest stories, interviews and updates about British Red Cross work in Syria, Africa and the Americas.

Posts by Sam Smith:

South Sudan: “We can’t fix everything, but we can save lives”


IMG_3179What difference can you make in a country that has such huge humanitarian needs? Sarah Grey, a Red Cross aid worker, explains how we’re helping people survive in South Sudan.

One of the first things you notice upon arrival in Juba is the number of aircraft parked along the runway.

Not commercial passenger jets, but dozens of planes and helicopters bearing the mark of different aid organisations.

It’s indicative of the scale of the crisis in South Sudan. There is no-one in this country whose life has not been affected by the conflict, which is approaching its two-year anniversary.


Ebola outbreak declared over in Sierra Leone



For the last 530 days, the people of Sierra Leone have been living under a cloud. It’s a cloud that has lingered since May 2014 when Ebola breached the country’s borders.

Today, with the declaration that the Ebola outbreak is now over in Sierra Leone, that cloud has been lifted.


How potatoes are paying for children’s education in Zimbabwe



Food shortages are not a new phenomenon for the people of Zimbabwe, but the crisis today is much worse than previous years.

Jane Adisu, who heads our work in southern Africa, explains how we’re helping people overcome erratic rainfall and El Niño.

Zimbabweans sow their seeds in November and pray for a good rainy season. After a succession of disappointing harvests, those prayers will be even more desperate.

Recurrent food shortages over the last few years have left communities in a precarious situation, particularly in the west and south of the country.


Q&A: What you need to know about El Niño


p-PHL2894You may have heard about El Niño in the news recently.

It’s been claimed that this global weather phenomenon could lead to a prolonged freezing winter in the UK – more sensationalist headlines than fact.

It’s also been reported that El Niño could have been behind Hurricane Patricia – the biggest storm ever recorded in the western hemisphere – that hit Mexico at the weekend.

One thing is for sure. An El Niño event is well underway and it could have significant repercussions for communities across the world, particularly those in developing countries.


Prefer typing to running a marathon? Take part in a mapathon



The streets of Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo are a world away from Facebook’s spacious UK headquarters.

But for one night, a connection was made between the two, thanks to a group of enthusiastic volunteers.

Facebook London was the latest venue to host a Missing Maps ‘mapathon’ for around 50 people who were there to quite literally put Lubumbashi on the map.