Artists' impressions of the Red Cross
In 2000, the Mannheim chapter of the German Red Cross organized
an art competition to mark its 125th anniversary. The resulting
exhibition of the best entries is on display at the ICRC in
Geneva from 21 January to 28 February 2002. Entitled "The
German Red Cross through artists' eyes" (Künstler
sehen das Deutsche Rote Kreuz), the collection of paintings
and sculptures by 36 artists presents their vision of the
Red Cross. The selected works provide us with an outsider's
view of the Red Cross both as a symbol and as an institution,
and give cause for critical reflection on the Movement's mandate
in general and the history of the German Red Cross in particular.
Although the products of very different styles and techniques,
the paintings all give tangible form to the concepts of "humanity"
and "aid", which are at the heart of the Movement's
On the same occasion, the Mannheim chapter of the German Red
Cross also put together an exhibition of photographs by Sabine
Kress depicting portraits of "couples" made up of
men and women giving or receiving assistance. The images can
shortly be viewed on the Federation web site at www.ifrc.org.
Delegations or National Societies wishing to host these exhibitions
can contact Fritz Gärtner, German Red Cross (Mannheim
chapter), tel. 00 49 621 73 94, for further information.
The knowledge that gives you wings
The recent war with Eritrea and years of drought and famine
have had severe economic and social repercussions for Ethiopia,
an already poor country with an exploding population. The
northern Tigray region has suffered badly from the effects
of the conflict with Eritrea: of the 380 street children,
more than 10 per cent are orphans, 27 per cent are from broken
homes, 5 per cent have missing parents and 58 per cent are
still in contact with their families, but eke out a living
on the streets.
"My grandmother forced me to beg. Since I was taken
in hand by the Red Cross, she has tried several times to kidnap
me on my way to school. But I can run faster than her! The
desire to learn gives you wings!" Eight-year-old Moulou
has already spent more than half his life on the streets of
Adigrat, a pilot town for the "Street children"
project initiated by Hagos Gemechu, secretary of the Tigray
branch of the Ethiopian Red Cross and financed by the ICRC.
In the middle of the night, the helping hand of a local Red
Cross volunteer plucked Moulou from an old cardboard box and
registered him on a list of little castaways who could benefit
from the Ethiopian Red Cross project. Thus, since October
2001, 38 children and adolescents aged between 7 and 19 are
housed, fed, attend school and are trained so that they can
eventually find a job.
In the path of Destruction
On 17 January the volcano Mount Nyiragongo, in the eastern
part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, erupted smashing
its way through the town of Goma at speeds of up to 60 kilometres
It is estimated that 300,000 people fled Goma and sought
refuge in Gisenyi and surrounding areas, on the Rwandan side
of the border, just a short distance away.
"First I thought it was thunder when the volcano started
to spit the boiling lava," explained Odette Nyiraminani,
a resident of the the Corniche district west of Goma, as she
held her small baby tightly in her arms. "The town was
covered with smoke and we could hardly breathe. We were allowed
to cross the border and spent two days in a field near Gysenyi,
until the Red Cross found us."
Active since the very beginning of the disaster, 1,000 Rwanda
Red Cross volunteers provided assistance and first aid to
people terrified by the events. "Goma doesn't exist anymore,"
say volunteers, having witnessed the partial destruction of
the town. The Rwandan Red Cross, the Federation and the ICRC,
with the support of the German, French, Belgian and Spanish
Red Cross Societies, continue to work together to provide
assistance to the victims.
Top | Contact
Us | Credits | Current issue | Webmaster
© 2002 | Copyright