Category: Emergencies

Watch: How a Red Cross volunteer helped save lives in Nepal


Sameer is one of over 8,000 Red Cross volunteers in Nepal. Here, he describes how the Red Cross helped people prepare for, cope with and recover from the 2015 earthquakes. 

160,000 refugees, two ambulances and a man called Moses


Tanzania Burundi

In one of the world’s largest refugee camps, there is little rest for the man charged with running the Red Cross ambulance service. Even on a quiet day the demand can be non-stop, as Niki Clark finds out.

Moses Fugwe is on his phone more than most. But the 26-year-old is not playing games or texting friends. Moses is saving lives.

He is tasked with co-ordinating the ambulance service for the Nyarugusu refugee camp in Tanzania, home to around 160,000 people.


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.


Landmines and gunshot wounds: A London nurse in South Sudan


South SudanSwapping South Sudan for south London, Claudia Dias is starting to readjust to life back in the UK.

Gunshot wounds, malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea, pneumonia, dehydration and landmine injuries. Hardly the everyday ailments found on her NHS ward.

For the last six months, the 29-year-old Portuguese nurse has been working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in South Sudan where her nursing skills have been put to the test.

“The work is completely different, you have to learn quickly and adapt while working with very basic equipment,” said Claudia.

“It is hard to see children and women with gunshot wounds. They are not involved in the fighting. They are just caught in the middle.”


From garden to plate in Nepal



Kanchhi Laamichhane holds a bowl of corn kernals in front of her home

Who doesn’t like the idea of growing fresh and nourishing vegetables, then cooking a delicious dinner?

But this takes on a new meaning in Nepal, which only last year was struck by two enormous earthquakes.

Thousands of people died and many others lost their food, crops, farm equipment and homes.

Since then, the Red Cross has given 3,000 farming families grants to replace the seeds and tools they need.


Letters from a crisis: wind, rain and wheelie bin rides


Have you ever ridden a wheelie-bin in a roaring gale?

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.


Mongolia: when your animals are your life

Baynakhand holds a young goat inside her ger


How would you feel about keeping a goat or two in your living room? Every night, Bayankhand Myagmar shares her one-room home with her husband, son, daughter, and some cold and hungry goats.

This traditional herder family is caught up in Mongolia’s dzud – a hot, dry summer followed by an extremely cold winter. Temperatures can fall as low as -60C at night.

First, the summer drought means there is not enough grass and hay stocks are low. The animals get weak from hunger and the bitterly cold winter finishes them off.


Radio Lesvos: the show helping refugees in Greece


Elderly man is helped to disembark a dinghy. The Greek island of Lesbos is one of the main entering point to Europe for refugees. Larger vessels, rubber boats and dinghys from Turkey cross around 5 miles of Mediterranian Sea to arrive in Lesbos.

Most of us are familiar with the disorientation you feel arriving in a foreign country. Maybe it’s the language, or that blast of heat (or cold) as you get off the plane. But it can take a little while to find your feet on foreign soil.

Those refugees arriving in dinghies on the Greek island of Lesvos are no different. Many speak no Greek, and have only what possessions they can carry.

They may have been separated or even lost loved ones on their journey. Many have fled violence and conflict.

But a Red Cross radio show is helping many refugees when they arrive in Greece.