Volunteering for humanity has been at the core of operations of the Liberia National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) and other humanitarian organizations in the country; but unfortunately, those who put their lives on the line during the heat of natural disasters receive little or no recognition—a factor that demotivates volunteers, especially after a period of huge sacrifices.
And as the International Volunteer Day is being observed today, December 5, 2018, the LNRCS has called for increased recognition of volunteers for the life-saving work they normally do in their communities and for them to receive stronger support and protection in the face of the growing risks they encounter.
This year’s celebration recognizes volunteers worldwide – with a special focus on local community volunteers – who contribute to making their communities more resilient against natural disasters, economic stresses and political shocks.
International Day of Volunteerism (#IVD18) focuses on the values of volunteerism through the appreciation of local volunteers, including the marginalized and women, who make up nearly 60 per cent of volunteers worldwide, and their impact on building resilient communities.
“The LNRCS is pleased to join the rest of the world in recognizing and celebrating the bravery and achievements of its volunteers whose selfless life-saving services are ensuring its commitment to humanity in the communities,” LNRCS Secretary-General Saybah Tamba said in a statement on yesterday.
The local chapter of the Red Cross has over 3,500 professional and community-based volunteers, many of who are on the frontlines of humanitarian emergencies. These volunteers, Mrs. Tamba, said are vital in providing assistance to thousands of vulnerable people each year.
“Volunteers need the support of governments, the organizations they are working for, and the communities in which they live,” the statement quoted Mrs. Tamba as saying.
She added that those volunteers require training, recognition, protection in their work, access to protective equipment, adequate insurance and, most of all, continued psychological and personal support.
Volunteers, she said, are the backbone of the organization and the communities in which they live, and therefore, the society needs to take care of them.
In this year’s celebration, Liberians join others across the globe to laud volunteers for their sacrifices for humanity.
From emergency response to building resilient communities, providing first aid services, delivering healthcare services, improving access to safe water, emotional counseling, distribution of relief and recovery materials to affected people, the volunteers are always passionate, motivated and committed to help people recover with hope and dignity in their own communities. Their efforts in saving lives and restoring dignity to humanity have not gone unnoticed.
The Red Cross is currently present in every county and district, represented by its network of volunteers in the communities. This means every district has a network of Red Cross volunteer supporting the work.