By Foday Moriba Conteh
As part of their efforts to equip volunteers on the fundamental Principles, Acts and the Emblem of the Society, the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society has on Thursday 28th April, 2022 concluded a one day orientation workshop for second set of volunteers in both the Western Area and Rural districts on the Fundamental Principles, Acts and the Emblem of the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society. The event took place at the SLRCS Headquarters on Wilkinson Road in Freetown.
In his presentation, the Secretary General of Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, Kpawuru Sandy noted that Humanity is one of the seven fundamental principles (along with Independence, Impartiality, Neutrality, Voluntary Service, Universality and Unity) of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, of which the ICRC and the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society are members.
Dilating on Humanity, he noted that the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement was borne out of a desire to bring assistances without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found adding that the purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for human beings.
Kpawuru Sandy added that Impartiality is another principle of the society of which he said the society makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions, stating that it endeavors to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs and give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.
The Secretary General noted that in order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.
He also maintained that the movement is independent and that national societies serve as auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their Governments and are subject to the laws of their respective countries and they must respect their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with the principles of the movement.
Commenting on voluntary service, the Secretary General maintained that it is a voluntary relief organization not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.
The Secretary General also used the opportunity to shed light on the use of the Emblem and the Acts of the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society which he said in most cases there has been misuse and the society deemed it fit to also educate volunteers on the use of the Emblem.
He continued that the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society Act, 2012 is an Act to continue in existence the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society and to provide for other related matters which was enacted by the President and Members of Parliament and was put together for volunteers to understand what are embedded in it.
Speaking to this medium one of the volunteers of the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society Western Area Branch, Abdul Kamara expressed appreciation to the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society for organizing such a training which she described as not only important to them as volunteers but is also timely.
He revealed that having learnt about the principles of the society it has motivated her passion towards serving humanity and that she will ensure at all times to adhere to the fundamental principles of the society.
Abdul Kamara concluded by assuring the society that all what they have learnt about the fundamental principles, the use of the emblem and the Acts of the Society will be used in the interest of the society.
Closing the session was the question and answer session which was moderated by the Communication Officer of the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, Madlyn Sharkah of which participants shared their understandings of what they have learnt and also recommended how the training could be improved.