Brunei to mark World Red Crescent Day

National 3 minutes, 15 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEI will join 17 million volunteers from 190 societies around the world to celebrate World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day 2016 today.

This year’s theme is ‘Everywhere For Everyone’, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) website.

‘Everywhere For Everyone’ means everywhere, around the world, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is there for everyone, from responding to needs in disaster and conflict situations to providing assistance in urban centres and hard to reach areas and advocating on behalf of those in need in policy circles and to governments.

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is also an opportunity to recognise the hard work of Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and staff around the world in saving lives.

As part of their humanitarian efforts and to commemorate World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day 2016, the Brunei Darussalam Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) has organised charity projects to give back to the community.

Programme Kembara Project Ikhlas, part of a charity drive called Programme Infaq Jariah, involves collecting donations to be distributed to the elderly, the poor and the underprivileged to help them prepare for the months of Ramadhan and Syawal.

Faizal Gurie, BDRCS director of Communication and Public Affairs, said the project was organised to help those in need and alleviate some of their burden.

Collections for Brunei-Muara district took place on May 5, which received good feedback from the public, according to Faizal.

Members of the public were encouraged to donate clothing items and daily necessities such as rice, sugar and canned foods.

“We will be allocating the items received to be distributed to those in need in all four districts,” he said, adding that similar programmes will be held in other districts.

To further commemorate World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, babies born today will be presented with gifts by the BDRCS on May 9 at respective hospitals in all four districts, said Faizal.

The BDRCS will also be holding a national general assembly today where a rank commissioning ceremony for national executive board members will take place, he said.

Faizal said the national general assembly is beneficial to everyone, particularly those in need on humanitarian grounds.

“BDRCS members are available in all four districts and are ready to provide assistance, treat, mitigate, consolidate and protect those in need.”

Through the theme ‘Everywhere for Everyone’, the BDRCS is inviting everyone in all four districts to perform humanitarian acts, said Faizal.

Youth cadet school volunteer Athirah Majid said the theme is relevant to the aims and objectives of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies worldwide.

“This is true, as Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are always ready to provide assistance anywhere and anytime when there are emergencies,” she said.

The 16-year-old said youth cadets should play their part in spreading awareness on the importance of providing first aid assistance to those in need.

“Not just that. We should also educate other youths who are non-members on the awareness of climate change and natural disasters.

“Hopefully, more people will recognise the importance of helping others and being first responders during emergencies.”

Athirah said she encourages all youths to become youth cadet school volunteers to gain beneficial knowledge and skills.

“At the moment, I’m trying my best to polish my skills and gain new knowledge to hopefully one day be able to become a member of the special team HADRT and play my part in serving the country.”

Established in 2014, HADRT stands for Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Response Team, which is ready to serve at any time with a 30-minute response time.

HADRT consists of volunteers from higher education institutions, government offices and private agencies who are trained in rescue and disaster management at the national, regional and international level.

The BDRCS has been serving the community since 1948 and currently has over 1,000 members mostly made up of students.

The Brunei Times