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Cayman Islands Red Cross Celebrates Humanitarian Spirit and Community Contributions

Community 08 May, 2024 Follow News

Cayman Islands Red Cross Celebrates Humanitarian Spirit and Community Contributions

The Cayman Islands Red Cross (CIRC) proudly commemorates World Red Cross Day, honoring the compassion and selflessness of individuals dedicated to improving their communities. Under the theme “Keeping Humanity Alive,” this year’s celebration highlights the invaluable contributions of community members who tirelessly support those in need. World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, observed annually on May 8th, marks the birth of Henry Dunant, the visionary founder of the Red Cross Movement. In Cayman, the entire month of May is dedicated to Red Cross Month, during which the CIRC amplifies its program initiatives across the community.

Established in 1961 by Mrs. Ethel Cook-Bodden and Ms. Janilee Clifford as a Committee of the British Red Cross, the CIRC has evolved significantly from its initial focus on fundraising for hospitals to encompass broader community preparedness efforts, particularly for the annual hurricane season. Today, the CIRC stands as a dynamic force within the region, with four core programs: Disaster Management, First Aid and Aquatics Training, Child Protection and Sexuality Education, and Support Our Seniors, complemented by the Thrift Shop Community Outreach.

Functioning as an auxiliary to the government, the CIRC collaborates closely with agencies such as HMCI, RCIPS, HSA, and the Ministry of Education in disaster preparedness, response, and child protection endeavors. Additionally, partnerships with community and private sector entities bolster efforts to assist vulnerable populations.

Throughout May, the CIRC intensifies its program activities across four key areas: promoting humanitarian principles and values, disaster response, disaster preparedness, and health and community care. In 2023, the First Aid Program trained 1300 individuals in life-saving techniques and provided support at 70 community events, offering reassurance during gatherings. A dedicated team of fifty-four volunteers ensured prompt assistance at every event.

The Thrift Shop Community Outreach initiative continues to serve the most vulnerable by supplying essential goods to 145 families in 2023 alone, including household items, clothing, and furniture, all provided free of charge.

Furthermore, the CIRC trained fifty-one volunteers as shelter managers, contributing to the national emergency response effort by deploying them across 19 shelters in Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands. Additionally, twenty-nine volunteers supported HMCI in distributing emergency supplies to fourteen shelters.

The organization’s commitment to community resilience is further exemplified by the training of nineteen new Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members and the continuous support provided to seniors through companionship and vital resources. In 2023, sixty-six volunteers received specialized training in geriatrics, enabling them to engage effectively with seniors, while fifty-eight volunteers facilitated 342 trips for seniors to medical appointments and other essential activities.

Moreover, the CIRC conducted awareness sessions on HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections for youth-focused organizations, reaching a total of 101 teenagers and young adults.

As the Cayman Islands Red Cross celebrates World Red Cross Day and Red Cross Month, it reaffirms its dedication to fostering a resilient, compassionate community through proactive humanitarian initiatives and unwavering support for those in need.

“As we reflect on the profound impact of our collective efforts during World Red Cross Day and throughout Red Cross Month, we are reminded of the resilience and compassion that define our community” says Jondo Obi, Director of the Cayman Islands Red Cross,” Together, we embody the spirit of humanity, offering hope and support to those facing adversity. Let us continue to uphold these values as we strive to build a stronger, more compassionate Cayman Islands.”

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