I’m a volunteer because I enjoy helping other people. As a society, I believe that we all have a responsibility to care for each other and to help where we can.
RED CROSS IS BUILT ON VOLUNTEERISM
More than 30,000 volunteers form the foundation of the Danish Red Cross, and there are more than 17 million of us worldwide.
Red Cross volunteers provide help where it is most needed, either in their own local area or abroad.
Volunteerism is at the heart of the Red Cross and is one of the guiding principles of our work. The Red Cross has a unique transnational network of volunteers who are always ready to help when disaster hits.
Red Cross volunteers save lives every day and help people get through crisis situations and disasters. In Denmark, volunteers create communities and help society’s most vulnerable people towards a better life.
BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE DISASTER
A rapid response is always crucial when thousands of people are struck by disaster. A Red Cross emergency response team can be deployed extremely quickly and they will ensure the necessary help in Denmark and abroad. We help before, during and after a disaster.
We try to prevent disasters by teaching people what to do in an epidemic, earthquake or tsunami. An important goal of Red Cross initiatives is to improve peoples’ ability to deal with the challenges themselves. This applies in both Denmark and the wider world.
When disaster strikes, we provide temporary shelter, food and water. When half a million people fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh in August 2017, Red Cross field hospitals were a vital element in the survival of injured children and adults. When hurricanes tore through the Caribbean, we gave early warnings, assisted evacuations, and provided emergency shelter.
We help rebuild damaged areas after disaster has struck. In Nepal, we rebuilt schools and villages after the devastating earthquake in 2015, and we are part of reconstruction efforts following the hurricanes that swept through the Caribbean in 2017.
AIDING VICTIMS OF WAR
The Red Cross has a special role in wars and armed conflicts.
By signing the Geneva Convention, the nations of the world gave the Red Cross permission to bring aid to all parties involved wars and armed conflicts. We are therefore often trusted by both sides of a conflict.
This is why the Red Cross was able to help evacuate children from Aleppo in 2016 during the civil war in Syria, and why we can continue to help the millions of displaced Syrians in their own country.
We teach warring parties about the rules of warfare as stipulated in the International Humanitarian Law in order to reduce civilian losses as much as possible. However, humanitarian work can come at a great cost. In Syria, 7,000 volunteers are putting their lives at risk every day to help those in need. Every year, aid workers lose their lives while they are trying to help others.
The Red Cross is always there when needed, and thanks to our special status, we can help where no one else can. Our humanitarian work is based on neutrality and impartiality, and we help people regardless of nationality, religion or political affiliation.
FRIENDSHIPS AND NEW OPPORTUNITIES
Danish Red Cross helps vulnerable people in Denmark every day. It is therefore natural that we also help people who have fled war and chaos when they arrive in Denmark in search of asylum. Our work is based on neutrality and we help everyone, no matter where they come from and irrespective of their religious or political beliefs. Danish Red Cross is responsible for the practical and humanitarian work of ensuring that asylum seekers have a safe and meaningful life while they are waiting for their asylum case to be processed.
The Venner Viser Vej (friends showing the way) project offers refugees a volunteer friend. Friendship with a Danish family can be crucial for refugees to get to know their new country and its customs.
Contact to a volunteer friend is an important part of integrating new Danes into the community. A friend can help with anything from NemID (eID solution) and sports clubs to maybe even that very first bike ride.
Danish Red Cross pairs unaccompanied refugee children with an adult guardian who can provide comfort and join the children in meetings with the authorities. Young individuals who arrive in Denmark alone are in a particularly vulnerable situation unless they can build a social network. Volunteer guardians are bridge builders and help the young people gain a sure footing in their new lives.
MOTHER AND CHILD HEALTHCARE
Childbirth has become safer for both mother and child in Malawi. As in many other countries, the Red Cross runs a healthcare project in Malawi that specifically focuses on mothers, newborns and children under the age of 5. We also help improve access to clean water and sanitation in remote communities.
Mothers and children are especially at risk if they do not have access to healthcare. This applies in particular for pregnant women and women who have just given birth.
The death of a mother will effect an entire family, and an ill mother cannot work or feed her family. The Red Cross trains midwives and local delivery assistants, and we also hand out childbirth packages to help ensure hygiene during a birth at home.
Malaria and diarrhoea are two of the leading causes of death in the worlds’ poorest countries, where almost half of all child mortality is connected with malnourishment. People in these countries suffer due to limited availability of medical care and a lack of basic knowledge about common illnesses. In these countries, the Red Cross trains volunteers in first aid and early detection of infectious diseases.
Even though Danes are among the happiest people in the world, our volunteers have found that an increasing number of people in Denmark need help for shorter or extended periods of times during their life. Many feel lonely and isolated, and families need help and support just to get through the day. We help the individual through the community.
More than 200 local Danish Red Cross branches offer activities, groups and a helping hand. We offer first aid training and our samaritans are always ready to help.
We create friendships through our visitor service, family network and integration activities.
We arrange family holiday camps for socially vulnerable families every year. We invite children to attend summer camps, and our Q-network supports and helps women who have been subjected to violence. Our Primus Motor scheme helps people transition from a life behind bars to life outside prison walls.
Red Cross volunteers across Denmark are ready to support people who need a helping hand during difficult times.
THOUSANDS HELP SO WE CAN HELP
Thousands of Danes donate to the Red Cross every year. We also receive money from the EU and Danida (the Danish Foreign Ministry development funds). Funding from the Danish Immigration Service covers all the costs of our work with refugees.
We are deeply grateful for every single contribution and the money is put to good use where it is most needed. The figures below are averages for the past five years. Current financial statements are available at rødekors.dk (in Danish only).