Back to Magazine

Faces of resilience

In a small village near Tillabéry in northwestern Niger, 61-year-old Fati Hassane sells 1-kilogram bags of rice from a new seedbank set up by the Niger Red Cross and the IFRC. Part of Hassane’s job as president of a committee overseeing the seedbank is to ration rice and crop seeds so there’s enough for all, while keeping prices down. Meanwhile, 20 kilometers into the hills from the remote mountain hamlet of Las Joyas, Honduras, a young man named Wilmer navigates steep, slippery and rocky terrain on horseback. Wilmer is no ordinary horseman. In 2010, he lost both his legs and an arm when he fell from a freight train headed toward the United States. After receiving new prosthetic legs from the ICRC, Wilmer is able to make a modest income working on his family’s small banana and coffee plantation. These are just two of many examples of how the Movement helps people and communities regain independence and restore their resilience in the face of economic, physical or environmental hardship.

“I am very pleased with the way the seed bank has changed my life and the lives of my fellow villagers,” says Fati Hassane, president of a committee that oversees a seed bank in a small village near Tillabéry, north-western Niger. “We used to have to travel far to buy rice. Now we have it here in our village.”
Photo:©Mari Aftret/Norwegian Red Cross

“People can learn to overcome anything, if they take it one step at a time,” says Wilmer, a Honduran plantation worker who received two artificial legs from the ICRC. “Even though I fall down — and I fall down a lot — I keep trying until I succeed.” After crossing Guatemala, he climbed onto a train in Tenosique, in southern Mexico in an effort to reach the United States.
Photo: ©Olivier Moeckli, ICRC

With the help of cash grant from the Pakistan Red Crescent Society and the IFRC, Aziz Ullah was able to open a shop where he repairs punctured tyres for people in his village, located in Sindh Province. The grant was part of a livelihoods project for families affected by Pakistan’s 2010 monsoon floods. Photo: ©Usman Ghani/IFRC

“They are always pushing and helping me to move forward and change the way I look upon life,” says 37-year-old Jackeline Erazo, referring to volunteers with the Colombian Red Cross’s Panica programme, which reaches out to vulnerable families in Cali’s impoverished El Calvario neighbourhood. “They also help with food and education, and they are teaching my children in order to prevent them from engaging in criminal activity. When they come I feel happy — more protected and not so alone.” Photo: ©Rene Diaz Helkin/IFRC


Contact Us