Today (Tuesday) is World Red Cross Red Crescent Day and the Irish Red Cross Society, which is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, is joining the global celebration.
On this day, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement comes together to thank all its volunteers who willingly give their time, energy, expertise and effort to help others. Just recently, at the Volunteer of the Year Awards, the Irish Red Cross recognised the efforts of our own volunteers here at home, and those who have particularly excelled in their field were presented with awards.
Irish Red Cross work at home includes first aid and ambulance cover, mountain and lake search and rescue services, and health and social care programmes. The society is also playing a key role in resettling Syrian refugees in Ireland and also runs a restoring family links programme.
It is also the responsibility of the Irish Red Cross, like all national Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (due to Geneva Conventions requirements) to undertake a range of actions to promote awareness of International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
For Irish Defence Forces on peacekeeping missions with the UN and EU, IHL is often a critical aspect of their mandate. Members of An Garda Síochána and representatives of government departments and diplomatic corps are also afforded vital protections overseas.
Irish Red Cross international activity sees the charity fundraise for various appeals and provide hands-on practical support on the ground to vulnerable communities overseas.