Aid Work

Letters from a crisis: local help and a premature baby

mother and young child

How do you begin to organise a refugee camp?

Gwen Wilson has seen it all. After retiring as a nurse, she worked in Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis. Now Gwen has swapped her life in Sheffield for a refugee camp in northern Greece.

Writing to you from Thessalonica, Gwen gives her impressions of life on the front line of Europe’s refugee crisis.         

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Syria – where do we go from here?

Devastation in Homs

Syria today is a source of both hope and frustration.

Over the weekend, one hundred trucks carrying food and medical supplies reached the besieged town of Al Rastan for the first time since 2012.

Yet still people are forced to flee their homes. One day earlier, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) evacuated more than 500 people from Madaya, Zabadani, Foua and Kefraya.

There’s a perception among some in the outside world that the situation in Syria is getting better now. It’s not.

Even in areas that have experienced a respite from the constant thud of mortars, the eerie silence that remains reveals another problem. How will people ever come back and pick up the pieces?

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Letters from a crisis: ‘how can this be happening in the EU?’

grandmother and child
Ever wondered what it’s really like to work in an emergency?

Gwen Wilson has seen it all. After retiring as a nurse, she worked in Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis. Now Gwen has swapped her life in Sheffield for a refugee camp in northern Greece.

Writing to you from Thessalonica, Gwen gives her reflections on supporting refugees in Greece.

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Meet the children of Idomeni

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We all remember the thrill of jumping into a good puddle. Yet for the children living in Idomeni camp, a week of heavy rain means puddles have long ceased to hold much wonder.

Despite their sodden blankets and shoes, the children remain filled with hope of a better life. They hope that the border will open soon so they can continue northward to be reunited with their loved ones.

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Ebola, midges and me: Scotland’s nurse who loves a challenge

Marjorie Lee at the end of the West Highland Way that she trekked to raise money for British Red CrossMarjorie has tackled challenges that many of us can only imagine. Less than a year ago, her working day was more extreme than most. Yes, she was a nurse. Yes, she treated patients. But she did it all in our Ebola treatment centre.

Now she’s back home – and looking for new ways to help. Even if it means taking on Scotland’s midges … More

Why we need money, not goods, for Nepal

Nepal-kid-and-babyWe’ve been inundated with kind offers of all sorts of goods in the past week – but however well-intentioned, such donations won’t help. In big disasters, money talks.

News of the Nepal earthquake was barely out before the first calls came in.

People across the country had been moved by the distressing scenes on television and wanted to help. Many wanted to donate goods to send overseas – sleeping bags, tents, children’s clothes, kitchen utensils and even food.

But while the Red Cross is grateful for these offers, such an approach won’t work. Here’s why: More

Nepal earthquake: story of a village

Boy-doorIn the remote village of Sathighar – four hours north of Kathmandu – almost every house was destroyed. A Nepal Red Cross team was the first to reach the scene since the earthquake struck.

Donate to the Nepal Earthquake Appeal.

Blue-skyIt’s difficult to overstate the severity of the situation. In this village, an overwhelming majority of people lost both their homes and livestock, and now have no way of getting food

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The Red Cross arrived to find a scene of utter devastation: 11 people had been killed and many were injured. The surviving villagers were desperate for help. More

Nepal earthquake: then and now

Nepal then and now BLOGAlmost every news outlet is calling this week’s earthquake ‘the worst disaster to hit Nepal since 1934’. But what exactly happened 80 years ago – and how did the Red Cross help?

There’s precious little good news coming out of Nepal this week.

The death toll is rising. Infrastructure is hopelessly compromised. Getting enough food, shelter and medical care to so many people is going to be a huge challenge.

But there are positives in even the grimmest situations. For one thing: modern communications and transport have transformed disaster response in recent years. More