Volunteering in the worst crisis most people have never heard of



In this personal and poignant account, a Red Cross volunteer speaks about the attacks and intimidation she and her colleagues face in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Edwige Marina has helped countless families torn apart by conflict in CAR, but the Red Cross volunteer never envisaged that her own family would become victims of the violence.


Tents, tarpaulins and tigers: mountain communities in Nepal struggle to cope

What remains of a home in Khalckok - ©IFRC/MerlijnStoffels

What remains of a home in Khalckok – ©IFRC/MerlijnStoffels

To the casual observer, the road between Kathmandu and Kavere gives a misleading impression of the destruction caused by April’s earthquake.

Life goes on as normal and homes and shops are untouched. It’s not until you turn off the road at the town of Sangha and travel two miles up a bumpy dirt track into the surrounding hills that the true picture of this disaster unfolds.


How the ‘Facebook for refugees’ will help reunite families

@ICRC/Pawel Krzysiek

@ICRC/Pawel Krzysiek

When conflict erupts in your community, it’s all too easy to become separated from your family in the rush to safety.

For those who manage to escape, their relief is often tempered by concern for missing loved ones.

Helping to reunite families separated by conflict or disaster is a core Red Cross service, and a new website has given our work a huge boost in South Sudan.


Earthquake hero’s tribute to teacher who saved his life

Devastation in Regish's village of  Choutara - ©NorwegianRedCross/ArildBlomkvist

Devastation in Regish’s village of Choutara – ©NorwegianRedCross/ArildBlomkvist

“I was playing with my little brother in my room when everything started to shake,” said Regish Giri.

The 15-year-old, who was inspired to learn earthquake survival skills by his geography teacher, knew what to do next. His quick thinking saved five lives.


Three stories, seven ways to change the world

Two volunteers help a girl to move

©Ibrahim Malla/IFRC

What unites ambulances in Lebanon, adverts in Uganda and floods in Canada?

The answer is seven tried and tested concepts – neutrality, humanity, impartiality, independence, unity, universality and voluntary service – which are at the heart of what the Red Cross does.

These fundamental principles spell out that we help those most in need around the world, regardless of their beliefs or background. And that we never take sides, or act for personal gain.

Whether we’re taking aid into Syria or teaching first aid in Newcastle, following the principles is a vital part of doing our work properly.

They’re not a marketing gimmick, or corporate buzzwords – they make sure we can get vital help to people in crisis. This year is the 50th anniversary of the principles. On World Red Cross Red Crescent Day, see how important they are with three examples from across the globe. More