Be a weekend hero


How do you like to spend your weekends? For me, the ideal weekend involves indulging my natural laziness and love of sleeping 12 hours in a row.

This weekend, however, I’m on call for our web team. That means, if our volunteers respond to something big while our offices are closed, I get a call and write a story about it for our website.

While most people in the country were out celebrating the fact that last night was Friday night, residents in Morpeth were checking the weather forecast and worrying that rain would, again, devastate their homes.


Stilettos and social exclusion in Georgia


So as a seasoned traveller slash humanitarian worker I thought I was well prepared for my recent trip to Georgia, my jabs were all up-to-date and I’d even packed a special tick remover as advised in my pre-trip medical. I’d also been told to tuck my trousers into my socks when walking through fields to avoid those pesky ticks and so I set off for Georgia armed with my sensible clothes – though when I got there I soon realised I wasn’t as well prepared as I thought.

Tower block

After flying into Tbilisi, we went west to Kutaisi, the second biggest city in Georgia. I was there to make a film about a Red Cross project that is seriously changing the lives of ‘socially excluded’ older people and I was working with Ash Sweeting, the same cameraman I worked with when making films in Sierra Leone.

I didn’t expect to see the blatant poverty of Africa and it’s true that on the surface – especially in Tbilisi with its grand monuments, fountains and expensive shops – life looks pretty good. But actually as you’ll see in the film there’s a whole other story. More

My Life and Achievements with British Red Cross


On the 07/07/08 I was asked if I could give a speech to a group of visiting trustees about how the Red Cross Refugee Unit has help me as an Asylum Seeker in Glasgow and my achievements as a volunteer. This is what I said:

When I came to the UK, I did not know about the Red Cross and what they do. I was referred here by my lawyer to use the Tracing & messaging Service.

But before I came…

I was in sorrow and all alone. I used to have bad thoughts, suicidal ones. I saw my life flash across the sky so many times and I felt so afraid. Police kept on picking me up from different places but I did not know how I got there. I did not care about anyone else but me. I prayed to God all the time, begging him to take my life when was sleeping. But he did not.


A sad day in Jakarta


Leave a message of support for bomb victims and emergency response volunteers in the comments section below, and we’ll forward them to the Indonesia Red Cross.

Several Red Cross volunteers walk toward body bagsBombs exploded early this morning at the Marriot and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta, killing several people and injuring dozens more.

Over the years, the Red Cross has built up teams of local volunteers around Indonesia so they can respond immediately when tragedies like this happen.

Our colleagues at the Indonesia Red Cross are there right now doing everything they can to help the survivors and their families. They managed to evacuate five injured people from the Marriot, and have first aiders and ambulances treating anyone else who needs it.


Geneva Conventions: Opinions Wanted


Sir Nicholas Young

On 12 August the Geneva Conventions will turn 60 years old. The Geneva Conventions are a set of rules designed to protect victims of war. Since their inception, the conventions have been ratified by all 194 countries in the world.

On this anniversary, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Red Cross want to hear your views on the challenges to the conventions in the next 60 years. In this era of increased transparency and value on mass collaboration, why not have your opinions heard?

>>Share your thoughts on the Geneva Conventions

Image © FCO

Forget the Ashes


The weather in London looks dodgy over the next several days, just in time for the second test to be played at Lord’s.

So if you were planning to be glued to your TV – or to your seat at Lord’s – to watch England beat Australia (or vice versa; we’re impartial here at the Red Cross), you might find you have a lot of extra time on your hands.

Never fear! We’ve got a way for you to spend your time.


Monday Movement update #14


A woman watches hundreds of soldiers pass by in lorriesHere’s your weekly update on what different members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement* are doing.

Philippines kidnapping: Eugenio Vagni was freed yesterday! The ICRC staff member was kidnapped in the Philippines with two colleagues on 15 January. His colleagues were freed in April.

Survey on civilians in conflict: An ICRC survey reveals what life is like for people living in eight countries experiencing conflict.