Category: Appeals

Video and photos: Red Cross Weekly makes locals news

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Passersby play with perspective

©BRC

For Red Cross Week 2013, we’ve been asking you to make the headlines.

“But I’ve been trying to get famous for years,” you moan. “And I’ve not got so much as a mention in the Gillyford parish newsletter, despite my whimsical yodelling, futuristic attire and early-morning cartwheel rituals on the village green.”

Well, we understand that celebrity can be hard to come by, however diligently you court it. So to make it a little easier for you to grab that elusive front page spot, we’re bringing giant 3D newspapers to cities around the country.

How is this helping Red Cross enthusiasts claim column inches? Well, dear fame-hungry fundraisers, these giant newspapers can be personalised.

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Red Cross Week: you make the headlines

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You rewrite the headlines

Tired of feeling powerless to help when you read about hurricanes, earthquakes and floods in the newspapers? Do those stories on the evening news about isolated pensioners, destitute refugees and house fires make you want to throw down the TV remote in despair?

Well switch off the screen, bin the broadsheet and help us rewrite the story this Red Cross Week (5-11 May). More

Photo gallery: helping people in Syria cope with conflict

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Whether it’s providing blankets, food, first aid or just a little comfort, Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers are working round the clock to make life a little more bearable for people in Syria.

Donate to the Syria Crisis Appeal

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Slideshow images © 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12&13: SARC, Homs. 3&5: SARC, Tartous. 8: SARC/ Homam Azzam. 11: SARC, Aleppo.

Syria conflict: cash grants to refugees in Jordan bring hope

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Man signing up for the cash grant programme in Ajloun, Jordan

©IFRC/ Raefah Makki

Mohammed and his six children have recently arrived in the Ajloun governorate of Jordan, 47 miles north-west of Amman. The 33-year-old Syrian came to escape Zaatari refugee camp, which his children couldn’t bear during the harsh winter.

We meet Mohammed on a Wednesday morning at the Jordanian Red Crescent branch in Ajloun. He is one of the 256 vulnerable people in Ajloun who the Red Crescent has carefully selected to receive a cash grant, to pay for accommodation and household items.

He says: “I came here to receive an ATM Card. I still don’t know how the system works, but I am very excited to learn as this will certainly support my six children and my wife. With this card we will be receiving cash that will enable us to pay for rent. More

Syrian refugees in Jordan: waiting for the Syria conflict to end

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Syrian refugees in Jordan

©BRC/ Ibrahim Malla

This is a guest blog by Julia Brothwell, a member of our disaster management team who recently returned from Jordan.

As news broke that one million Syrians were seeking refuge in countries neighbouring Syria, I was on my way to Za’atari Camp in Jordan – temporary home to 140,000 refugees. I saw new toilet and washroom facilities being built on the outskirts of the camp. Soon tents and shelters made from containers will spring up to fill the gaps between the breeze-block structures.

Basic needs like food, shelter, water and medical care are covered by a multitude of UN agencies and non-governmental organisations. Along the camp’s main thoroughfare, shops have opened up to sell a variety of goods to make life a little more comfortable – from fresh bread, fruit and vegetables to cigarettes, mobile phones and even twin-tub washing machines. Small coffee shops sell sandwiches and sodas, while barbers offer haircuts and shaves. More

Getting aid to Syria: ‘We’ve paid in blood for our independence’

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This is a guest blog from Khaled Erksoussi, the head of operations for the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, who recently visited the UK.

The issue of safe access within Syria is very complex. Because it’s a polarised crisis, everyone considers that if you are not with them you are against them. So everybody might consider you their enemy if they have that in mind.

You have to make them understand that we are only with the people in need. We don’t care about their affiliation. We don’t care about their opinion. We never ask anyone: “Are you with the government, are you with the opposition?” It’s not our role.

My main job is to coordinate and follow up on Red Crescent operations. I certify that we have safe access and coordinate with everybody in the field to get the aid materials to reach the people in need in all areas. More

Cuba interview: Hurricane Sandy almost wiped out entire communities

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A lady living in a shack built from remnants of her previous home, in the Soledad and Ocaña community.

©BRC

In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused extensive flooding, damaged buildings and infrastructure and left thousands of people homeless in the Caribbean and United States. I spoke to British Red Cross resilience advisor Maria Clara Attridge, who recently visited Cuba to see how the Hurricane Sandy relief operation is progressing there.

How was the situation when you visited?

Maria: “Reconstruction was well underway. In Cuba, the population is usually very proactive – there is a strong sense of solidarity. After the hurricane everyone was out on streets, clearing rubble and repairing the damage.

“At the moment, a lot of people are still living in temporary shelters and makeshift homes, or staying with family and friends. Although a lot of rubble has been cleared, the government estimates that only 14 per cent of roofs have been repaired.

“The government has been finding solutions for affected families – loans, subsidies and sometimes grants, depending on their situation. The vulnerable are prioritised and the community understands this.” More

Syria conflict: interactive photo map

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The map is for illustrative purposes only, and does not express a British Red Cross opinion.

Every day, in virtually every part of the country, Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers and staff are risking their lives to get aid to the most vulnerable Syrians – whatever side of the conflict they are on.

To ensure that they are reaching anyone who needs help, volunteers must negotiate their way through checkpoints, down roads fought over by armed groups.

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