By Olimatou Coker
The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) has commemorated World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day.
The day is also dedicated to staff and volunteers of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement that are reaching and supporting people affected by COVID-19. It is also meant to inspire, facilitate and also promote all humanitarian activities that are carried out by the Red Cross Movement.
The theme for this year’s commemoration is “#Unstoppable”.
Jatto Sillah, president The Gambia Red Cross Society said this year’s theme carries a special message because together our commitment to make the world a safer and more peaceful place is unstoppable.
He added that Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and staff know that to change the world lies within people and communities, noting that they work every day to ensure communities have the knowledge and means to protect themselves, reduce their risk, and live safely and with dignity.
He stated that they also take the lead in responding to all emergencies in humanitarian contexts.
Mr. Sillah thanked volunteers across the globe that give their time and apply their skills to make their communities safer, more resilient, and more inclusive.
He encouraged the volunteers and staff to sustain the momentum by volunteering new skills to communities.
“It only takes simple acts of kindness and volunteerism to transform lives and small gestures can make a world of a difference”, he stated while encouraging those joining the Red Cross movement to be agents of positive influence in their communities.
Alasan Senghore, secretary general GRCS said throughout their interventions, volunteers and staff of Red Cross continue to play an integral role in their programmes with so much commitment, determination and enthusiasm.
He highlighted that they are unstoppable when it comes to alleviating human suffering, building resilient communities, and getting to hard to reach communities to improve lives and livelihood of people.
He said that Gambia Red Cross volunteers have been delivering services under difficult and critical circumstance during the Covid-19 pandemic and therefore thanked them for their services.
He pointed out their achievements during the Covid-19 response include fumigation, sensitization, safe and dignified burials, contribution to stopping the chain of transmission, provision of hand washing stations, provision of ambulances assigned to handle transfer of complex cases, provision of cash support to vulnerable households, among others.
“We believe in disaster management continuum process”, he said, adding that pandemics and disasters will continue to occur in future.
SG Senghore thanked all their donors and partners who supported them during the pandemic in ensuring they are able to deliver what is expected. He also thanked volunteers who risked their lives and that of their families daily in delivering services during the pandemic.
Isatou M. Bah, Gender and Diversity Focal Point said they respond based on needs but in the process, factor gender and diversity which is key in humanitarian response.
She described volunteers’ role as very vital in ensuring no one is left behind, saying The Gambia Red Cross Society’s operation is beyond first aid and disaster response.