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The Gamia Red Cross Society Celebrates World Red Cross Day

The World Red Cross Day observed or celebrated all over the world by National Societies in different forms and styles, this year the Gambia Red Cross with the volunteer drive campaign in mind, assembles about 200 volunteers in  Central River Region- CRR to commemorate the day. It was  deem necessary to hold this unique event in Central River Region so as to help strengthen the volunteer base of the branch and also create an interactive sessions for volunteers where new ideas and messages could be learned.

On Friday the 6th may 2011 a team of fourteen (14) volunteers including the Volunteer Management Coordinator  and two drivers left headquarters at Kanifing for Bansang (Venue) as the advance team to work on the ground before the arrival of the regional delegations.

On Saturday 7th May 2011, the advance team started their task with a briefing session of the organizing committee members. The VMC of the GRCS introduces the CRR branch officer to the advance team members and local organizing committees. He stressed that only head of committees should request for whatever they need in order to have a channel in doing things. The IEC for the event then started registration of participants from the following branches (Banjul, Kanifing Municipality, West Coast Region, Lower River Region and North Bank Region) at around 1.00 pm followed by CRR North participants then URR participants at 3.00 pm and 4.00 pm respectively. After bath, lunch, prayers and rest, the participants converge at Bansang youth centre for a fund raising show stage by the humanity band of the Gambia Red Cross Society.

The day itself (8th May 2011) began with a briefing session of the regional delegations on   the importance of their participation in all the programmes as they are the driving force towards the success of the events. Samba Touray- the Chairperson of the IEC commission- then distributed the programme guide to all regional representations for them to be at per with the happenings. Comments then followed from regional representatives starting with Cherno Jallow of NBR who wants to know whether the programme guide was sent to all branches especially on the blood donation exercise; Fanding Barrow responded that VMC circulated the program guide to all branch officers through email, telephone and letters. Ismaila Sonko of Banjul Branch observed that there was no interaction among camp participants which according to him needs to be improved.  

Activities To Mark the day

Blood Donation and Cleansing Exercise

As part of events marking the day, there was a massive blood donation and cleansing exercise at Bansang major referral hospital from 9.00am to 1.00pm which ended successfully. There were thirty-four (34) pine of blood bleed from 34 eligible volunteers and staff each donating a pine.

Branch Quiz on Red Cross Knowledge

Upon completion of the exercise at the hospital, participants assembled at Bansang Upper Basic School for quiz on Red Cross knowledge. 
Each branch was represented by two participants, where Lower River Region came out victorious with 19 points, followed by KM with 17 points then URR with 16 points as second runners up. 
All participants were awarded a certificate of appreciation and other prizes as follow:

  • Ramatoulie Jallow of Banjul Branch as the youngest female participant
  • Momodou J Jallow of Central River Region Branch as the youngest male participant
  • Momodou Alieu Jallow of the Kanifing Municipality Branch as the participant with the second highest points, and
  • Gibril Sanneh of Lower River Region Branch as participant with the highest points respectively.
  • Winners – Lower River Region
  • First Runners Up – Kanifing Muncipical Red Cross Branch
  • Second Runners UP – Upper River Region

Commemoration ceremony

To mark the end of events for this year’s World Red Cross Day celebration volunteers, GRCS staff, invited dignitaries and women groups all converge at Bansang car park for the commemoration ceremony on the theme “Find the Volunteer Inside You” The event started with a colorful match pass led by the Armitage Scout Band from Bansang Upper Basic School ground to the car garage where the band displays some of their talents. After the band’s wonderful performance, the general attendance stood up to open the ceremony proper by singing the Red Cross anthem. As the melodious voices landed in chorus the master of the ceremony Mr. Samba Touray wasted no time to invite the imam of Bansang to lead the people into Muslim prayers. That was followed by the recitation of the Christian prayer by a volunteer of the Banjul Red Cross branch.

After the prayers were recited, the master of ceremony then extends his invitation to Mr. Lamin Darboe the chairman of CRR Red Cross branch to deliver his welcoming remark.

Mr Lamin Darboe spoke at length on the importance of the day and the significant roles plays by the volunteers. He noted that efforts are in place to increase its impact in the local communities and cement partnership with government, the local communities, vulnerable people and other relevant stakeholders.

Mr. Darboe further elucidated that advocacy activities on behalf of the vulnerable people and the activities of the society would be stepped up to attract support to the needs of the vulnerable people and the society.
The master of ceremony then paraphrases on the CRR chairman’s speech then called on Mr. Mamodou Bah the secretary general of the Gambia Red Cross Society to make his statement.

According to Mr. Bah World Red Cross Day (WRCD) remains a mean of spreading the knowledge of Red Cross and Red Crescent humanitarian action; thus honor the founder of Red Cross and all those who lost their lives to humanity.

“As we celebrate the day we also take moment to reflect on the strengths and weakness of the past and challenges of the future” he added.
Gambia Red Cross is the only voluntary organization in the Gambia with over fifteen thousand (15,000) registered members covering every single community across the country.
To him, young volunteers form the largest membership and biggest resource of the society; it is imperative to ensure their availability and continuity in order to fulfill the mission and vision of Gambia Red Cross Society

After a short round of applause, the master of ceremony thank the Secretary General and then invite the ICRC head of mission in Banjul, the Gambia Mr. Juan Luc to deliver the key note address on the theme “find the volunteer inside you”. Sloping down the ladder was a crucial point at which the vice president of the Gambia Red Cross society Mr. Mustapha Saine deputizing the president of the Gambia Red Cross Society Mr. Ebrima K Sanneh was invited to make his speech.

Mr Saine said that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the International year of volunteer as well as the European year of volunteering. According to him this is an opportunity to promote and recognize the significant role volunteers played in enabling the movement to become the largest humanitarian network in the world.
It is worth pointing out that volunteers are often themselves victims of the very same crises they are responding during disasters.

Noting that the courage and sense of solidarity it takes to put one’s own suffering aside and prepare to take action to help others is quite simply remarkable

Mr. Samba Touray the master of ceremony invited Mrs Fatou Gaye of the GRCS to conduct the handing over ceremony of fifty (50) mattresses from Gambians Living in America group through Red Cross to the ministry of health. The regional director of health for CRR on behalf of his board and staff promise to share and distribute the mattresses to the most needy health facilities in his region accordingly.
Ismaila Gibba the national youth chairperson of the Gambia Red Cross society gave the vote of thanks. Deputizing for the governor CRR was the Chief Executive officer of Bansang area council who step up to deliver the closing statement on behalf of the governor.

Finally, special and symbolic about the celebration was the candle light parade led by the Armitage scout band from Bansang car garage to the Upper Basic School that symbolize a moment of reflection of the founder of red cross Jean Henry Dunant and what he have done in the solferino war between the armies of Italy and Australia. To end the day, volunteers from all branches were supplied with a branch assessment form to fill and return to the VMC through the IEC of the organizing committee. This follows a farewell night that allows volunteers to share experience, ideas and above all interact for the rest of the night.

Press Releases

8 May 2011

The Gambia Red Cross Celebrates World Red Cross Day

The World Red Cross Day observed or celebrated all over the world by National Societies in different forms and styles, this year the Gambia Red Cross with the volunteer drive campaign in mind, assembles about 200 volunteers in  Central River Region- CRR to commemorate the day.

Copyright 2011 The Gambia Red Cross Society Developed By Allan R. Caulker - Unique Solutions