Who We Are

The Seven Principles

Humanity

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavours, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found.  Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for humanity. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, co-operation and lasting peace amongst all peoples.

Impartiality

It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions.  It endeavours to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.

Neurality

In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all the Movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage at anytime in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.

Independce

The Movement is independent.  The National Societies, while auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments and subjects to the laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with the Principles of the Movement.

Voluntary Service

It is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any SERVICE manner by desire for gain.

Unity

There can be only one Red Cross or one Red Crescent National Society in any one country.  It must be open to all.  It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory.

University

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in which all Societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide.

The general objective of the Gambia Red Cross Society is to alleviate human suffering with complete impartiality, making no discrimination as to race, nationality, age, gender religious beliefs, class, language or political opinion and shall act in accordance with the ideals and principles of the Geneva Conventions. 

To achieve the general objective/principal aim as defined in its article 4 of the Statutes, the function of the National Society shall be among others are as follows;

1. To act in case of armed conflict, and in peace prepare to act in all the fields covered by the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Convention of 1977 on behalf of all war victims both civilian and military.

2. To contribute to the improvement of health, the prevention of disease and the mitigation of suffering through programmes of training and services for the benefit of the community, adapted to national and local needs and circumstances.

3. To organise, within the scope of The Gambia’s National Plan, emergency relief services for the victims of disasters, however caused.

4. To recruit, train and assign such personnel as are necessary for the discharge of its responsibilities.

5. To promote the participation of children and young people in the work of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in general and the Gambia Red Cross Society in particular.

6. To propagate the Fundamental Principles of the Movement and those of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in order to develop among population, and in particular among children and the youth the ideals of peace, mutual respect and understanding among all people.

7. To act as an agent of the Government in carrying out the objects of the National Society as set out in article 4, provided always, that the independence of the National Society be not infringed upon in any way whatsoever.

8. To co-operate with Government, local authorities and other Voluntary organisations engaged in work similar to that of the National Society. Provided that the National Society retains administrative control over its own funds, personnel and materials, and does not share for appeal or other purposes, the Red Cross name or emblem.

9. To rely on voluntary contributions for its maintenance but may authorise regular and specified services to be administered on the basis that those who are able and willing should contribute towards expenses, and may accept grant-in-aid from Government and Local Authorities in respect of services carried out under paragraph 7 of this article and otherwise.

10. To encourage the public to be zealous in its solicitude for those in any kind of want, and shall generally act as a channel through which sympathy for the sick and suffering may be expressed.

STRUCTURES OF THE GAMBIA RED CROSS SOCIETY

Governance Structure

The General Assembly is subjected to the Statutes and is the supreme governing body of the Gambia Red Cross Society. The Assembly represents the Gambia Red Cross Society as a whole and meets once in every three years.  It is composed of members of the Central Committee and elected representatives of Branches, Districts, and/or Ward Committees. The President, elected by the General Assembly, is the highest personality of the National Society. The President acts under the authority of the Assembly and the Central Committee to guide the affairs of the National Society in conformity with decisions made by the Assembly and the Central Committee respectively.

The Assembly and its structures are the governance body of the national society and are responsible for the policy making while the management implements the policies and decisions of the governance. The management is lead by the Secretary General who in turn is appointed by the Central Committee. The Gambia Red Cross society strives towards a clear separation of powers between the roles and responsibilities of the governance and the management.

Youth Structure

In West Africa the GRCS is well known for its strong youth structures and youth activities. In all districts there are high numbers of links composed of students and youth from all levels of life. In the statutes there is a defined set up for the youth structures parallel with traditional structures; starting with links at lowest level and building up to the Youth National Assembly where National Youth Chairperson is elected. The National Youth Chairperson and assistant both have fixed seat in the central committee and while the Chairperson has a sit on the executive committee. There is also a National Youth Commission that coordinate, plan and lead in youth gatherings including Bantaba and country wide youth activities. Youth is defined as all people ranging from 18-35 years.

Head Office and Branches

The GRCS head office is located in the Kanifing Municipality. The chief executive officer is the Secretary General supported by the team of finance, programme, administration, logistic, and volunteers.

There are seven branch offices, one in each administrative region, all manned by a branch officer who is part of the management team.

At the head office these are the following departments:

  • Health and Care including First Aid and Water and Sanitation
  • Disaster preparedness and response including food security and climate change
  • Dissemination, humanitarian values and communication
  • Logistics including fleet management and warehousing
  • Finance and administration
  • Volunteer and membership

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