International Humanitarian Law Offered Saturday, February 15!

m16141632_763x260_Cincinnati_-_IHL_News_BannerThe International Humanitarian Law course will be offered on Saturday, February 15th from 8:30am-12:00pm at the American Red Cross Oshkosh Office.  The Oshkosh office is located at 515 S. Washburn St., 2nd Floor, Oshkosh, WI 54904 in the Tower West building.

This course is intended to raise awareness among Red Cross volunteers, staff and general audiences about the Geneva Conventions, the basic rules of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), and the role of the Red Cross during armed conflict to implement IHL.  The course will use group activities, class discussion and multiple audiovisual aids to invite participants to reflect on their images and perceptions of armed conflict and explore the powerful and fundamental concepts of human dignity even in the midst of the excesses of war.

Learning Objectives for this course include –

Increase the understanding of and respect for:

  • Human dignity
  • International Humanitarian Law (IHL)
    • Who and what IHL protects
    • How IHL protects people
  • The importance of a public understanding of IHL
  • Meeting IHL and fundamental principles challenges in American Red Cross daily work

This course is recommended for ALL Red Cross personnel. In addition to internal audience, other external groups, and partners are also encouraged to attend, including, military families, veterans groups, university and academic groups, young people, medical personnel, local media, service and civic organizations, etc.

Contact: Melinda Piraino at 414-342-8680 X663 or melinda.piraino@redcross.org to register

American Red Cross Contributes an Initial $6 Million to Support Typhoon Haiyan Response Efforts in Philippines

Jasmin Ursal is staying at evacuation centre in Bogo. Photo: Jarkko Mikkonen/Finnish Red Cross

Jasmin Ursal is staying at evacuation centre in Bogo. Photo: Jarkko Mikkonen/Finnish Red Cross

WASHINGTON, Wednesday, November 13, 2013 – The American Red Cross today announced an initial contribution of $6 million in support of the global Red Cross response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. These funds will be used to distribute relief items, repair and rebuild shelters, provide healthcare and ensure access to clean water and sanitation systems.

“We are grateful for the American public’s generosity and compassion following what has been called one of the strongest storms in world history,” said David Meltzer, chief international officer for the American Red Cross. “The American Red Cross is in a unique position to help provide support by airlifting relief supplies from its warehouses around the world, providing trained disaster responders specializing in damage assessment and telecommunications, and by channeling its financial support to the Philippine Red Cross and its more than 500,000 staff and volunteers and our other global partners in the Red Cross network – all of which go to providing relief from this devastating storm.”

In addition to financial assistance, the American Red Cross is lending people, expertise and equipment to this effort with four specialists already on the ground in the Philippines. These include two people who specialize in telecommunication and who are traveling with satellite equipment, and two others who specialize in disaster assessment.

The Philippine Red Cross has extensive experience in search and rescue and large-scale relief and recovery programs. The Philippine Red Cross is the largest humanitarian organization in the country, with 1,000 staff members and an estimated 500,000 active volunteers engaged in this disaster response. Their volunteer relief teams continue to provide assistance in the hardest hit communities, including assisting in search and rescue efforts.

suppliesThe Philippine Red Cross has begun distributions of emergency supplies and has provided meals to people affected by the storm. On Sunday, 6,000 packs of relief supplies were sent to Leyete and other affected communities. However, supply delivery in the worst affected city of Tacloban has been significantly constrained by destroyed infrastructure, blocked roads, and downed communication lines.

Specialized emergency response teams from Red Cross societies across the globe are moving into the Philippines to assist the Philippine Red Cross. These include teams with expertise in logistics, disaster assessment, shelter, health, water and sanitation.

“A global Red Cross relief effort is well underway and we are working closely with our international partners to help get aid where it is needed,” said Meltzer.

Despite the tragic aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, thousands of survivors are grateful for their lives. The Philippine Red Cross worked closely with local disaster authorities to support preemptive evacuations, helping move more than 125,000 families to safer shelter prior to the storm making landfall. The Philippine Red Cross also disseminated early warning messages and safety tips in areas along the path of the typhoon.

Here in the United States, the American Red Cross is helping to reconnect families separated by the typhoon and has activated its family tracing services. If people are looking for a missing family member in the Philippines, please remember that many phone lines are down. If people are unable to reach loved ones, contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross to initiate a family tracing case.

The American Red Cross expects to make additional contributions to support the humanitarian response in the coming weeks. Donations received from American Red Cross and other Red Cross partners will aid the Philippines relief and recovery efforts through the Philippine Red Cross and possibly other organizations as experts on the ground determine the best way forward.

HOW TO HELP Those who want to help can go to www.redcross.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS to donate to typhoon relief. People can also mail in a donation to their local Red Cross chapter. Gifts to the American Red Cross will support our disaster relief efforts to help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. On those rare occasions when donations exceed American Red Cross expenses for a specific crisis, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other crises.

In a new partnership, Facebook is making it possible for users to donate directly to the American Red Cross either through a notification in News Feed, or directly on the Red Cross Facebook page. This is the first time that the American Red Cross has engaged in such a large-scale fundraising program with a social platform. For the Red Cross that means that with the click of a button on Facebook, we can connect people who want to help with those who are so desperately in need in the Philippines. This Facebook effort for the Philippines in the United States will continue through November 15.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

How to Help: Donate to Typhoon Relief on Facebook

Posted on November 13th, 2013 by Gloria Huang

For the next few days, Facebook is making it possible for users to donate directly to the American Red Cross either through a notification in News Feed, or directly on our Facebook page. We’re excited and grateful that they are activating this feature to support the massive global response effort following the impact of Typhoon Haiyan on the Philippines this past week.

If you visit your Facebook News Feed, you will see this at the top of the screen:

Screenshot

Clicking Donate $10.00 will bring you to a simple payment screen, where you will be asked for your payment information (Facebook will retain this information for any future Facebook purchases – see below for more info).

Just follow the simple directions to complete the donation, and you’re done!

If you’d like to give a different amount, you can also visit the American Red Cross Facebook Page to make a donation.

fbdonate


100% of the funds raised through Facebook will go to the American Red Cross. All of the donations will be provided by the American Red Cross to the Red Cross groups that are working on the typhoon response. The Philippine Red Cross has been leading this response effort, aiding with search and rescue immediately after the disaster, providing shelter, food, and water, and distributing relief supplies. However, as we mentioned earlier, this has truly been a global response effort. Specialized emergency response teams from Red Cross societies across the globe are moving into the affected area to assist. These include teams with expertise in logistics, disaster assessment, shelter, health, water and sanitation.

Typhoon Haiyan 2013
Volunteers and staff working with food items at Philippine Red Cross HQ. Photo: Jarkko Mikkonen/Finnish Red Cross

To read more about the response so far, please visit this page.


Have more questions?


Why did Facebook decide to do this?
Facebook is a place to connect to the people, places, and things they care about most. In times of disaster or crisis, people turn to Facebook to check on loved ones, get updates, and to learn how they can help. We regularly work with relief organizations, government organizations, media partners, and private industry to be part of this effort so we can all improve preparation for disasters, contribute to relief efforts, and bring to the forefront the needs of those directly impacted. This is just another way for us to help – and make it as easy as possible for people to help those impacted by the typhoon.

Why hasn’t Facebook done this for other natural disasters?
Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. We regularly work with relief organizations, government organizations, media partners, and private industry to be part of this effort so we can all improve preparation for disasters, contribute to relief efforts, and bring to the forefront the needs of those directly impacted. This is just another way for us to help – and make it as easy as possible for people to help those impacted by the typhoon.

We’re always exploring various options for helping people contribute and assist during a time of crisis. This is just another step towards making the assistance even easier, and we’re committed to evolving our products to find new solutions over time.

Will Facebook offer this for other causes other than natural disaster?
We’ve always exploring various options for helping people contribute and assist during a time of crisis. This is just the latest evolution, and we’ll continue to keep finding new and different solutions.

Why are people in New York and California unable to donate through Facebook?
We are currently working to get approval from NY & CA regulators for direct donations. We hope to have these states up and running as soon as those state regulators give their approval.

Does Facebook get a cut of these donations?
No, all of donations will go to the American Red Cross.

How secure is my payment information?
Your payment information is completely secure. When you make a donation on Facebook, your payment information will only be stored with Facebook and not shared externally.

For additional information on the security of your payment information, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/help/241215262666597

Will my donation be broadcast to my Facebook friends?
No, your donation will be kept private. You can, however, let your friends know via a status update if you would like to share.

Down the Road & Across the Globe the Red Cross is There!

New South Wales Bushfires

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The Australian Red Cross is currently supporting people in evacuation centres in Springwood, Lithgow and North Richmond.We are expecting these to close down over the coming days. The recovery centre in Springwood remains open and we are assisting people as they come into the centre seeking advice on the next steps they should take.

Red Cross is currently supporting people in evacuation centres in North Richmond. The recovery centre in Springwood remains open and we are assisting people as they come into the centre seeking advice on the next steps they should take.

More than 120 Red Cross volunteers and staff have been involved in the response and most of them have completed multiple shifts. Additional teams are standing at the ready across the Western Sydney region. We are assessing the wellbeing of staff and volunteers to ensure they are ok and sending in fresh teams to continue with the relief work.

Red Cross is also assisting people to find out about the safety of family and friends – people can register as evacuees or inquire online through the National Registration and Inquiry System 

People who have lost their homes or had property damaged are experiencing stress, exhaustion and are trying to come to terms with an awful reality. Recovering from an emergency is a complex process that may take months, even years to overcome. Red Cross is committed to supporting people on their recovery journey. We talk with people in emergency-affected communities to identify gaps in support and our volunteers work with communities in the days, months and sometimes years after an emergency. Long after the emergency is over, Red Cross helps individuals and communities as they rebuild their lives.

World Red Cross Day

American Red Cross Offering International Humanitarian Law Course

The American Red Cross joins with the 187 other Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies around the globe annually on May 8 to celebrate World Red Cross/Red Crescent Day. This date marks the birth of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent network’s founder Henry Dunant.

Motivated by his experiences during the Battle of Solferino in 1859, Dunant advocated for the humane treatment of the sick and wounded during wartime. He recorded his memories and experiences in the book A Memory of Solferino which inspired the creation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 1863.

Today, more than 150 years after the conflict, the global Red Cross and Red Crescent network is comprised of more than 13 million volunteers and assists more than 300 million people worldwide each year.

To commemorate 150 years of humanitarian action, the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin will celebrate the day by hosting the International Humanitarian Law training.

International humanitarian law, which includes the Geneva Conventions, is at the core of the global Red Cross network. It is critical to preserving a minimum of humanity in the worst of circumstances. The American Red Cross will be offering a four-hour course on the role of the Red Cross in times of armed conflict. The course is free to the public and addresses the humanitarian aspect of the American Red Cross. 

Instructor, Kerri Hah, brings over 11 years of experience educating the public and has trained hundreds of school children on the subject matter of Humanitarian Law.

The Red Cross actively promotes tolerance and humanitarian values.  In times of national crisis or war, all segments of the public must feel confident that they can turn to the Red Cross for help, or to volunteer their time, talents and resources.

Click on the link to learn more: http://www.icrc.org/eng/war-and-law/index.jsp

International Humanitarian Law:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Classroom 1 (lower level)

American Red Cross, 2131 Deckner Ave, Green Bay

To register for the class contact Nick Cluppert, Training Specialist, at 920-231-3692 x 19 or nick.cluppert@redcross.org

On Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoa), Red Cross remembers successes of its Restoring Family Links services

In recognition of Holocaust Remembrance Day the American Red Cross is reaching out to Holocaust survivors and their families to inform them of Red Cross services to reconnect families and find documentation.

Since 1990 the American Red Cross has helped over 45,000 families search for information and documentation of their loved ones who went missing during the Holocaust. Miraculously this work has resulted in locating 1,600 individuals and reconnecting them with their families. Watch the video of Saul Dreier, a Coconut Creek resident and Holocaust survivor who was reunited with his cousin through the Red Cross Restoring Family Links services.

Dreier thought he lost his entire family during the World War II murder of millions by the Nazi regime. After almost 70 years of thinking he was alone, he was able to locate his cousin Lucy Weinberg, a resident of Montreal, Canada, in late 2010 after Red Cross caseworkers scoured records from the former Holocaust and War Victims Tracing Center and more than 180 Red Cross societies around the world for clues. You can read their story here.

HOLOCAUST AND WAR VICTIMS TRACING So many years after World War II, the pain of being separated from family still affects many. The American Red Cross Holocaust and War Victims Tracing Center was closed in November 2012 but through its national Restoring Family Links program, the Red Cross continues to help residents of the United States search for information about loved ones missing since the Holocaust.

The tracing services are free of charge and utilize the worldwide network of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, the Magen David Adom in Israel, as well as museums, archives and international organizations to help find information about someone’s loved one.

HOW TO BEGIN YOUR SEARCH If someone is interested in trying to find a loved one, they can contact their local Red Cross chapter. These searches are complex and can take a year or more to find results. Information has been found in more than 79 percent of cases such as documentation outlining deportation to another country, or in some, confirmation of death. Some, like Saul Dreier, have been lucky to find their loved ones and reunite after so many years of separation.

World Red Cross Red Crescent Day: Happy Birthday to Henry Dunant

By Tamara Braunstein – May 7, 2012

Monday, May 07, 2012 — Imagine a plain piece of paper laid out before you. Imagine you crumple it up into a ball. Imagine you try to smooth it back out. Can you do it?

With this simple activity, Bonnie Lu, International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Educator for the Wabash Valley Red Cross chapter in Indiana, demonstrates to hundreds of students each year the way their actions impact others.

For the past six years, Bonnie has hosted a birthday party at Chauncey Rose Middle School in honor of World Red Cross Red Crescent Day and Henry Dunant, the founder of the largest global humanitarian network, born May 8, 1828.

To celebrate Dunant’s legacy and vision, sixth grade students gather in the cafeteria to sing “Happy Birthday” and share cupcakes as they learn about the importance of human dignity, the history of the Red Cross, and the impact their own choices can make in the world.

Bonnie even includes a message about the effects of bullying: Just as they aren’t able to remove the wrinkles from their crumpled sheets of paper, how they treat people can have lingering results on others.

“Dunant had a vision of an organization that would focus on humanity and human dignity. The idea for this whole movement came from one man, which shows us that one person can make a difference. This is why I teach about human dignity, because if I can help just one child, my time is well spent,” Bonnie says.

Happy 184th birthday to Henry Dunant, founder of the global Red Cross and Red Crescent network.

Aside from the birthday party, Bonnie has reached almost 500 students this year alone with her IHL instruction. And while activities for World Red Cross Red Crescent Day vary with each year, country and chapter, May 8 is an ever-powerful reminder of our global Fundamental Principles.

This year’s theme of “Youth on the Move” presents a welcome opportunity to recognize the efforts of the millions of youth and young adult volunteers – they make up about half of our volunteer base of 13 million people – around the world. In the United States alone, about 25 percent of American Red Cross volunteers are ages 24 or younger.

The American Red Cross is dedicated to supporting leadership development and recognizing the importance of youth volunteerism. From the summer internship program, to the National Youth Council and every day service opportunities, young volunteers make up a significant part of the organization’s rich history and development.

To find out more about how you can become involved as a young volunteer for the American Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org/youth.