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Solidarity without borders

The youth section of the Swiss Red Cross's Geneva branch decided to launch 'Operation Balkans' to assist the victims of the conflict in Kosovo. They collected clothes, non-perishable foods and hygiene products. Surprised by the generosity of the response - more than 450 tonnes of items donated - and even more so by the number of volunteers - more than 800 - they chartered a 38-carriage train to transport the assistance to Albania. Upon arrival, members of the Albanian and Belgian Red Cross Societies and the Federation facilitated the transit and distribution of the goods. Heartened by their success, the young organizers of the project are planning new humanitarian initiatives in the Balkans - the next one for Bulgaria.

The ideas bank

When National Societies were asked to think of how to promote the Red Cross Red Crescent during the millennium year, 8 May 1999 to 8 May 2000, event organizers knew if each National Society had one good idea, that could mean 176 ideas just like that. And if those ideas were shared, each society would have 176 ideas to choose from, to adapt or improve and to make a reality. This was the concept behind asking each National Society to name a millennium year coordinator.
During the period 8 May to the present, more than 160 National Societies have organized thousands of events worldwide, issued publications and sold merchandise under the slogan 'the power of humanity'. Its success was confirmed at the Council of Delegates in October 1999 when the whole Movement agreed to make consistent use of this slogan for the next five-year period.
The millennium coordinators are still hard at work. Why not let these motivated people continue to be 'the power of humanity' coordinators and encourage them to work together to promote a stronger global image for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.


Turning 80

The Azerbaijan Red Crescent remains busy on its 80th birthday assisting elderly and internally displaced people (IDPs). With the support of the Federation, 200 nurses from the Azerbaijan Red Crescent visit 7,000 elderly throughout the country. In addition, it has just opened a training centre in Baku for IDPs. Thirty women are being taught computer skills, English and business marketing knowledge. The hope is that through this training, they will be able to find employment.

Volunteers to the forefront

Thousands of refugees arrived in Armenia ten years ago fleeing the conflict in Nagorno-Karbach. Still today their lives are filled with hardship. To reverse this trend, the Armenian Red Cross Society offers psychosocial services for elderly refugees in communal centres in Yerevan. Every day, volunteers from the youth division visit their 'grandmothers' or 'grand-fathers'. They assist with simple daily chores. The National Society aims to ease the integration of the refugees and end their isolation. In other words, offer a light in darkness.

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