Cayman joins Red Cross Day celebrations

Cayman Islands Red Cross volunteer Patrick Todd loads relief items sent to the British Virgin Islands.

The Cayman Islands Red Cross is joining Red Cross, Red Crescent and Red Crystal Societies around the world to celebrate World Red Cross Day on May 8.

The day, which marks the birthday of the movement’s founder and winner of the first Nobel Peace Prize, Henri Dunant, has been observed annually throughout the world since 1948.

Here in Cayman, the month of May is observed as Red Cross Month and the Cayman Islands Red Cross is commemorating the month by enhancing its community program activities, according to local organizers.

The Disaster Management program is using the month of May to finalize training initiatives undertaken to prepare staff and volunteers for disasters. The program will be concluding the National Intervention Team training, hosting an internal shelter management training, assisting specific Community Emergency Response Teams, known as CERTs, finalize their response plans, as well as undertaking activities in preparation for hurricane season in conjunction with the government.

The First Aid and Aquatics program will continue to deliver its training to the community, and will finalize its efforts to recertify volunteers who will be deployed to the non-emergency shelters to provide first aid coverage for shelterees, according to Jondo Obi, director of the Cayman Islands Red Cross.

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Also, the Red Cross Thrift Shop program will be scaling up its community outreach by extending its Deals on Wheels efforts. Deals on Wheels takes the mobile thrift shop to one of the outer districts each month, but for the month of May the mobile shop visits each of the four districts outside of George Town each Saturday of the month.

The Thrift Shop program also uses the month of May to liaise with partner agencies making referrals for clients, as well as making preparation to facilitate the transition to shelter operations should such a need become available.

Meanwhile, the Child Protection and Sexuality Education program will continue its working in raising awareness of and educating the community on child safeguarding and child abuse prevention. The multi-agency grassroots Protection Starts Here recently completed another two-day policy development workshop for youth serving organizations and continues to offer ongoing support for individuals, families and agencies through referrals assistance in accessing services, policy development, awareness sessions, and the twice-monthly free Darkness to Light training to the public.

“The reality is that when it comes to the work, May is another month with additional activities,” said Ms. Obi. “However, it is important for us to celebrate not only May 8 but highlight the work throughout the month because there is something really special about the Red Cross Movement, and May offers us an opportunity to remind ourselves, our volunteers and our community of that.”

“Around the world, there are over 115 million people who give their time, skills, blood, sweat and tears to help assist the most vulnerable and empower their community,” said Carolina Ferreira, deputy director for the Cayman Islands Red Cross. “We are a voluntary service humanitarian organization unlike any other, and everything that we do, here and abroad, is because everyday citizens believe in the power of humanity and act on that belief. That is something worth celebrating” she adds.

To find out more about the Red Cross or to volunteer, email the Volunteer and Resources Manager on [email protected]

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