Local actions have international impact

Unless you have been so lucky to travel the world and visit other cultures than our own, then you probably feel as small as I do when I think about the world at large. As much as we like to appreciate the comfort of U.S. culture, we must accept that there are many others countries devastated by war.

To offer a little background, humanitarian principles are at the core of the Red Cross mission, especially in times of war. In 1949, the four Geneva Conventions formed to provide basic limits on how war is waged- to protect civilians, wounded and sick combatants, and prisoners of war. It is the duty of the American Red Cross, on behalf of the people and the government of the United States, to help to ensure that these humanitarian principles are widely understood and respected.

In times of international disasters, the American Red Cross responds by sending financial assistance, relief supplies, trained emergency response personnel, or any combination of the three. Not only does the organization assist in times of emergency, but also provides assistance to the Measles epidemic.

Something that has always inspired me is knowing that I can contribute to international relief programs from the comfort of my home. To do so, you can help in a number of ways. The most common way the Red Cross supports international emergencies is through financial assistance. You can make a donation, big or small, and you can rest assured that it will help provide food or water, or repair damaged homes, or send supplies to villages. To learn more about international humanitarian law, you can become an advocate for raising awareness to your peers.

Among many other volunteer opportunities, the Red Cross helps to restore family links. In this touching story below, the man from South Sudan was reconnected with his mother after being separated by war, thanks to the American Red Cross.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQ2CBsDEEQs

To find a local chapter near you, visit http://www.redcross.org/find-your-local-chapter.

To learn more about our international support, visit http://www.redcross.org/support/international-support.

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