This is the third part of our series of Red Cross’ principles. You can find the first post here and the second one here. Youth delegate Laura Leino asked the volunteers and workers at the Red Cross Nyeri Branch in Central Highlands of Kenya what the seven principles mean to them.
The initial letters of the seven Red Cross principles are often heard as salute at youth gatherings of Kenyan Red Cross. All of the members know the initials by heart and the HINIVUU-greeting emphasizes the unity of the members, however there is more essential meaning behind the letters.
“Humanity is like a kind heart. Red Cross is an organisation that helps people regardless of financial charges. Humanity to me is doing good without expecting anything in return.” -Sabina, Intern at Nyeri Branch
“You should not discriminate against any gender, race, political stand or age. No discrimination at all. For example in terms of disaster a friend of mine has been mildly affected by accident and there are other people who have been more seriously injured. I should not go to help my friend at first but serve the most injured first.” -Fidelis, Nyeri Branch Coordinator
“Neutrality is state of being fair in everything. I have seen the principal in action in disaster response where we help each and every person equally. If there has been a fire we treat the caretaker and landlord with the same respect.” -Terry, Receptionist at Nyeri Branch
“Kenyan Red Cross runs its programs or the emergency response independently. There was a time we responded to a situation where a school bus carrying children had been drift out of the road. There was a delegation visiting from Norwegian Red Cross last week and they participated to a fire incident together with us.” -Daniel, Head Chef at the Boma Restaurant in Nyeri Branch
“For me voluntary service is helping the community. I am nutritionist and a new volunteer at Red Cross. I am currently planning to start a deworming project in primary and secondary schools.” -Rachel, Volunteer at Nyeri Branch
“People should always be united, like kids of the same mother and so should be the Red Cross societies.” -John, Tree Nursery officer
“Everywhere in the world and all around Kenya there is Red Cross. No matter where you are, there is Red Cross that will help you. It´s the helping hand who doesn’t choose which tribe you are of how you look.” -Rebecca, Guard at the Nyeri Branch
Laura was working as a youth delegate in Kenya for six months. The first three months she worked in the head office of Kenya Red Cross Society in the youth and voluntary service programmes in Nairobi. After that she helped to build the capacity of youth volunteers at Nyeri branch.