Aid Work

Surgery by head-torch: life as a doctor in South Sudan

Red Cross volunteers carry person on stretcher

Renewed violence in South Sudan has begun a fresh cycle of displacement for thousands of people.

Since December 2013, more than two million people have fled their homes. You can help them by making a donation to our appeal today.

Earlier this month, armed confrontations in the capital, Juba, forced many organisations to suspend their work.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) provides protection and assistance to victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence around the world. It is often the part of International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement which is first on the scene when fighting breaks out.

So it was for Colin Berry, an anaesthetist from Exeter who works with the Red Cross. Colin is recently back from a mission to the town of Raja in the north west of the country. Shooting and looting in Raja has recently injured many people and sent scores into the bush to hide.

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Volunteers on the front lines

Two Red Cross volunteers hold and comfort an injured child

What happens when the day you have spent years preparing for suddenly comes without warning?

In April, Red Cross volunteer Jorge Chele Santana was spending a peaceful afternoon with his father, wife and son.

Suddenly the ground shook violently and the family rushed outside. They didn’t realise at first that their home town of Manta, Ecuador, was near the epicentre of a major earthquake.

The city was hit hard and help was needed immediately.

“I remember calming down my 17-year-old son, who also happens to be a Red Cross volunteer,” Jorge said.

“I looked him in the eye and said ‘son, it’s time to show what we’ve prepared for, what we’ve been trained to do and remember why we are part of the Red Cross.’

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A side of the refugee crisis you don’t often see: What happens after a boat sinks?

volunteers retrieve body from beach

Here we are again.

Just over a year ago, Red Cross chief executive Mike Adamson warned about the lack of EU action on the migrant crisis. Now, once again, volunteers in Libya are recovering bodies from the sea.

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Letters from a crisis: goodbye to new friends

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Having spent a month in a refugee camp in northern Greece, Gwen Wilson is now preparing to say goodbye.  

Some of her refugee volunteers have decided to apply for asylum in Greece. Others are still hoping the borders will open.

Writing to you for the final time, retired nurse Gwen gives her impressions on life on the front line of Europe’s refugee crisis.  

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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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