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Our world. Your move.


In 2009 it will be 150 years since a young Swiss businessman saw people suffering and chose to take action. That man, Henry Dunant, understood the power of an individual to make a difference. At a battlefield in Solferino, Italy, in 1859 he tended to the wounded and dying. He returned home to found what is today the world’s largest humanitarian organization, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. In its wake came the basis of modern international humanitarian law. Ninety years ago, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies was created to assist all people everywhere. Sixty years ago, in 1949, the Geneva Conventions were enshrined in law to reinforce legal protection for people affected by armed conflict.

Henry Dunant’s drive to reach out to his neighbouring continues today in the hearts of 97 million volunteers who work in every corner of the globe. They are on the front line of every major humanitarian challenge facing the world today and tomorrow — the humanitarian consequences of climate change, migration and population movement, epidemics and public health emergencies, disaster response, violence in urban settings, food crisis, widespread poverty and armed conflict.

All through 2009, the Movement and Red Cross Red Crescent magazine will commemorate the continuing need to take humanitarian action. The images on these pages illustrate how one person can make a difference. And how one Movement can change the world.

Our time is now. Our battlefield is everywhere someone is asking for help. What will you do?

Jean-François Berger and Rosemarie North


This campaign is a call to action. The world today faces unprecedented challenges and we must all work together to addresses these challenges and promote a culture of engagement. The ‘Our world. Your move.’ campaign aims to show how people worldwide are personally affected by today’s humanitarian challenges and to highlight what Red Cross Red Crescent volunteers and others are doing to help. Do you have a story to tell? If so, we want to hear from you! The campaign web portal www.ourworld-yourmove.org will allow individuals, groups and National Societies to share their stories.

 

Emily Nuttall waits at an American Red Cross shelter in California during wild fires.
©TALIA FRENKEL / AMERICAN RED CROSS

 

Mobile phones made available in Baghdad by the ICRC in collaboration with the Iraqi Red Crescent Society so that the civilian population could contact their relatives.
©THORKEL THORKELSSON / INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION

 


A would-be immigrant is carried on a stretcher after arriving at Spain’s Canary Islands.
©REUTERS / SANTIAGO FERRERO, COURTESY www.alertnet.org

 

A Hellenic Red Cross worker fights a forest fire north of Athens.
©REUTERS / YIORGOS KARAHALIS, COURTESY www.alertnet.org

 

Iraqi refugee children run at a private school in the Jordanian capital, Amman.
©REUTERS / ALI JAREKJI, COURTESY www.alertnet.org

 

A woman sits on sacks of food during a Red Cross distribution in southern Ethiopia.
©REUTERS / JOSE CENDON, COURTESY www.alertnet.org

 

An ICRC delegate talks with a detainee in a prison in Bolivia.
©BORIS HEGER / ICRC

 

 

ICRC training exercise with the Colombian armed forces.
©WITOLD KRASSOWSK I / ICRC

 

 

A girl displaced by conflict in Iraq drinks water from a tap in a camp in Baghdad.
©REUTERS / MAHMOUD RAOUF MAHMOUD, COURTESY www.alertnet.org

 

Tens of thousands of Peruvian earthquake survivors take shelter in a stadium in Pisco.
©REUTERS / MARIANA BAZO, COURTESY www.alertnet.org

 

Myanmar Red Cross Society volunteers distribute relief to people affected by Cyclone Nargis.
©REUTERS / HO NEW, COURTESY www.alertnet.org

Preparations for distribution of basic household items, with support from Sudanese Red Crescent volunteers, Garsila, western Darfur.
©THIERRY GASSMANN / ICRC

 

Dissemination session for officers of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's armed forces, Uvira, South Kivu province.
©CARL DE KEYZER / ICRC

 

This open-air surgical team, based in Nyala, Sudan, stands ready to fly or drive to combat zones to treat those in need.
©BORIS HEGER / ICRC

Home visit by a nurse from the Russian Red Cross.
©ZUMRAD MAGOMEDOVA / ICRC


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