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May 10, 2013

World Red Cross Day celebrated downtown

May eighth is celebrated worldwide as World Red Cross Day. In Belize, the Red Cross organized a fair at the Bliss Parking Lot in downtown Belize City to highlight the wide range of services provided by the organization. The Belize chapter of the Red Cross is one of a hundred and eighty-eight national societies and the annual celebration is also the birthday of its founder, Henry Dunant. Executive Director of the Belize Red Cross, Lily Bowman, spoke of the displays and the growth in the number of services offered by the humanitarian organization.

 

Lily Bowman, Executive Director, Belize Red Cross

Lily Bowman

“We take the opportunity to let everybody know about the work we do, to invite people to come and join this happy family, to become volunteers and to share in the successes and to also listen to our needs and make a little contribution or to sign up as a volunteer. We also take the opportunity to bring out the school children and teach them a little bit about all the different areas that we work in. We have today, the first aid sector doing some practical techniques—teaching about CPR and first-aid. We also have the HIV and AIDs to the children. We also have the disaster risk reduction area where of course very significant being the month before the season opens. We have a risk-land game where we are teaching the children facts about disaster preparedness. And of course we have a little section where we are selling some pastries to make some little coins for our operations. Basically just letting everybody know what we do every single day in disaster, out of disaster, in preparedness, in health. We also started working with our youths in violence prevention; that’s a new area. So we are telling them about all these good things that we do.”

 

Duane Moody

“Tell us about how the Red Cross has grown over the tears that they’ve been in Belize.”

 

Lily Bowman

“We must be thankful to our external donors who fund these projects like the Norwegian Red Cross for instance who has been funding our disaster risk reduction projects for Y. And have now moved into the youth and violence prevention, health issues affecting our youth projects. We are thanking the American Red Cross as well. They have been helping us in the disaster risk reduction section as well and other funders through the federation. And of course our local donors who without their contribution, we couldn’t have been reaching so many people. But the Red Cross has really grown in volunteer numbers through these projects as well as with people we reach. Over 2012, we’ve reached about sixty-three percent of the total population of Belize with all our programs and services.”

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