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WORLD RED CROSS DAY – SPEECH OF SLRCS PRESIDENT

On May 8th every year Volunteers across the World Commemorate the World Red Cross Day to celebrate the principles, values, history and impact of the Red Cross Movement. Henry Dunant, the founding father of the Red Cross Movement, was born on this day in 1828.

For over 150 Years Henry Dunant’s initiative to establish voluntary relief societies in each country has thrived and is creating remarkable impact across the world; alleviating suffering and promoting respect for the dignity of the human being; yet human suffering, resulting from wars and other disasters, remains truly unbearable.

Our World has never been more exposed to dangers and challenges and we continue to see human suffering on an ever-larger scale. More than anything else the past year of a global war against the Covid Pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of the whole world, with an unimaginable threat of human suffering and ever-increasing vulnerabilities. At the same time, however, these challenges have always presented a phenomenal opportunity to highlight the extraordinary commitment and amazing achievements of our dedicated Volunteers and Staff.

Sierra Leone has faced her share of daunting humanitarian Challenges and through it all Red Cross Staff and Volunteers in all districts of our Country have always shown up for vulnerable people; to help, to support, and to sacrifice through countless acts of love, respect, and kindness.

Whether it was a bloody civil war, a Covid, Cholera or Ebola Virus disease outbreak, a Fire or Flood Disaster, an accident, a loss of livelihoods, or any other crisis that our nation has faced, there has always been a Red Cross volunteer ready to support the people affected, and to ensure they recover quickly and can live with greater resilience and dignity. Their commitment never wavers, and their compassion has no limits.

On this World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, on behalf of our dedicated National Governing Board, I celebrate the thousands of volunteers, members, and staff of SLRCS who work every day, under difficult and sometimes overwhelming conditions, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it is found. Our Volunteers and staff work on the front line of every crisis, often being the first in and the last out; even when it is in hard-to-reach communities and sometimes at great risk to their own safety. That is why they deserve our deepest gratitude.

Over the past 59 Years of our existence as a Society, we have supported millions of people, often during the most difficult periods of their lives, and we continue to respond daily to disasters and every other humanitarian crisis or need. We do so by working with local communities, public authorities, and civil society to ensure a more effective and coordinated response to the unprecedented challenges we face.

Our Leadership Team has faced more challenges than any previous one; yet the incredible courage and share determination of our National Governing Board, the unyielding loyalty and ever-increasing commitment of our Branch Executives and community based-volunteers, and the selfless dedication of our staff has made our Society a shinning flicker of hope to vulnerable communities across the Nation. In the truest sense of the word: SLRCS is forever #Unstoppable!!

Together we will continue to strive for a sustainable and effective National Society, that becomes a partner of Choice to Public authorities and our international partners and is able to reach those most in need of humanitarian support.

On this World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, we celebrate our long journey of sacrifice, of transformation, of resilience and of courage and we reaffirm our commitment to our humanitarian mission.

On this auspicious day, I warmly encourage all volunteers to keep that bright light of hope shining in every community and spreading the fire of Love and kindness wherever they are; being fully assured of today’s theme; that come what may: Together we are #unstoppable!

Yours truly

Rev. Sahr Christian Fayia

National President, SLRCS

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