Children's festival in Lebanon
At the end of March, the Child Festival 2001 took place in
Lebanon under the auspices of its First Lady, Andrée
Lahoud. More than 7,000 children participated in the event
arranged by the Lebanese Red Cross youth department and 25
youth centres based throughout the country.
Children were given information on the Principles of the
Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, humanitarian values,
mine awareness, road safety and protection of the environment.
A 'theatre' showed the founding of the Movement on the battlefield
of Solferino. The children also learned to read road signs
and how to avoid home accidents. All the activities were interactive
enabling the children to learn and have fun. The 500 volunteer
youth members were exhausted but delighted once the festival
was over. The two-day experience strengthened their belief
that through educating children Lebanon can ensure a peaceful
future for itself.
As part of the celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary
of the first Nobel Peace Prize, which was awarded to Henry
Dunant and the French pacifist Frédéric Passy,
the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum in Geneva
presents Apocalypse 01, an exhibition on the apocalyptic prophesies
of the Red Cross founder. During the last years of his life,
which were devoted to religious activity and meditation, Henry
Dunant became fascinated by the book of Daniel and the Apocalypse.
Believing the end of the world was imminent, from 1887 Dunant
drew four diagrams demonstrating his prophetic view of history.
Recently restored, the four sizeable works (110 x 80 cm) provide
a precious insight into this little-known aspect of Dunant.
Twenty years after - A Khmer story
Auv Chap Say (a Cambodian national) and his wife were forcefully
recruited to work for the Khmer Rouge in 1978, leaving behind
their daughter Chan and their niece Choeun in Kampot province.
In 1979, when the Vietnamese took over Cambodia, Mr. Say's
residence was requisitioned and the girls were forced to leave.
Nobody knew where they had gone.
Years later, in 1997, Mr. Say for the first time learned
through somebody in Australia that his niece had been seen
working in a market in Cambodia in 1995. So, in March 2000,
he launched a tracing request with the Australian Red Cross
in order to search for his daughter and niece. The case was
sent to the ICRC regional delegation for east Asia in Bangkok
where all tracing requests related to the Cambodian conflict
are centralized. Since the ICRC had no record of the girls'
whereabouts, the Cambodian Red Cross (CRC) was requested to
carry out a further search in Cambodia. With the help of the
CRC's experienced tracing team in the field, the girls were
finally located in Kampong Speu Pprovince in August 2000.
The father received the good news with tears, and the mother
was speechless. The parents, who have four sons in Australia,
had believed their only daughter lost forever. In November
- after a long separation of over twenty years - a surprise
family reunion was organized by the CRC, without the daughter
and her two children knowing beforehand, following the father's
Following the eruption of violence in the former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia in March 2001, the ICRC reacted immediately
in favour of the over 22,000 displaced persons with the assistance
of the National Society and the Federation. The ICRC also
provided medical help to the hospital in Tetovo, the second
largest city in the country and the area most affected by
the clashes. Food aid was also distributed to isolated villages
above Tetovo that were caught up in the fighting.
Since violence broke out again in early May, ICRC teams have
been able to regularly access villages in the Kumanovo area
to evacuate civilians and wounded persons during ceasefires.
Emergency aid was brought into the villages as well as medical
help for the health structures. The ICRC was also able to
access or exchange Red Cross messages with persons captured
by ethnic Albanian armed groups.
Mozambique battles floods again
The Mozambique Red Cross has again been in the front line
against a devastating disaster as floods wreaked havoc for
the second consecutive year.
In its second major relief operation in 12 months, the National
Society distributed emergency supplies, such as tents, plastic
sheeting and water sanitation equipment, to thousands of vulnerable
people in affected areas. "For two years running we have
been battling the flood waters and this year we have had to
bring in an emergency water purification unit to meet the
needs of people living in camps," said Federation regional
water and sanitation coordinator Robert Fraser. In the midst
of this major emergency response and despite the extreme difficulties
in many areas, the Mozambique Red Cross has continued vital
work on disaster preparedness. Along with other National Societies
in flood-hit southern Africa, new volunteers have been trained,
relief supplies pre-positioned and contingency plans revised.
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