Mission accomplished in Bangladesh

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I was somewhere outside of Dhaka with just a driver, a copy of the Lonely Planet and one word of Bengali when I fully realised the enormity of the task that lay head of me. I put my trepidation to one side as my car rolled up the gangplank and on to the first of many ferry crossings I was to encounter in the coming month. I’d only landed in the country a few hours earlier and now I was on my way to the port town of Chittagong in the south east of Bangladesh. This was the first time I’d arrived in the immediate aftermath of a big disaster and I had a job to do.

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Volunteering during an economic downturn

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Have you felt the bite of the credit crunch? Are you looking for a way to gain new skills or keep busy while in between jobs?A man talks on a walkie talkie

You’re not alone! Here at the Red Cross, we’ve seen a huge jump in the number of people interested in becoming volunteers. At the end of 2007, we were getting around 300 volunteering enquiries a month; we’re now getting around 1,400 a month!

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Vegans need first aid too

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For the past year I’ve challenged myself to have a more vegan diet. It started off as a short-term challenge just to liven up my usual vegetarian meals, to force myself to seek out new recipes, and to wean myself from cheese, chocolate and baked goods. I enjoyed it so much I set myself a new challenge – never to use dairy products at home.

Imagine my shock, then, when I read this blog post from the American Red Cross about vegan bandages. Vegan bandages? What in the world could be in regular bandages that would make them unacceptable to vegans? Cheese? Eggs? More

Monday Movement update #11

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Here’s your weekly update on what different members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement* are doing.

Sri Lanka conflict: More than 250,000 people have been displaced by fighting in Sri Lanka. They need food, water, medical care, security and to know the fate of their loved ones.

Children wash clothes in PakistanPakistan conflict: The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has launched an emergency appeal to help the Pakistan Red Crescent Society meet the humanitarian needs of 140,000 people displaced from areas of fighting. The ICRC is stepping up its support for the civilians affected.

Polio in west Africa: There have been outbreaks of polio in some west African countries that had not reported a case of the disease in over a decade. Seven thousand Red Cross volunteers in 14 countries have been taking part in a major campaign to immunise children. More

The difference we make

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Here’s a short quiz for you.

A volunteer supports an elderly woman with a cane as they walk1. In 2008, how many people in the UK did Red Cross volunteers help through short-term health crises (like coping after a hospital stay or getting to and from doctor appointments when they have limited mobility)?

a. almost 70,000
b. just over 150,000
c. nearly 290,000

2. Approximately how many refugees in the UK did we give assistance to last year?

a. 5,000
b. 20,000
c. 40,000 More