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Red Cross in NM Celebrates World Red Cross Red Crescent Day

Albuquerque, NM - The New Mexico Region of The American Red Cross is celebrating the beginning of the Red Cross Movement on Wednesday, May 8 which is World Red Cross Red Crescent Day. The day’s events start at 11:30 at the Red Cross Office, 7445 Pan American West Freeway, NM in Albuquerque. The International Humanitarian Law Class is from 1-5 p.m.

Dr. Jessica Goodkind, community psychologist and faculty member of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, Division of Prevention and Population Sciences, will discuss refugee health issues, the refugee population in New Mexico, and the Refugee Well-Being Project at UNM

Swiss Businessman, Henry Dunant while travelling in 1859 witnessed a one-day battle between Austrian and French forces outside the northern Italian town of Solferino and to his horror, he saw 40,000 dead and wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Dunant immediately set about organizing care for the wounded with the assistance of local villages. Upon returning to Switzerland, Dunant initiated a campaign to establish an organization to aid the wounded in battle. Representatives of sixteen European States and four philanthropic institutions attended an International conference in 1864 at which they adopted the first Geneva Convention, as they called it, a treaty which sought to save lives and allieviate suffering of sick and wounded military personnel.

It specified that the red cross, a reversal of the Swiss national flag’s white cross on a red background, would serve as a protective emblem. It also stipulated that wounded and sick combatants were to be collected and cared for by either side in a conflict. Inspired by Dunant’s vision Clara Barton helped form the American Red Cross following the U.S. Civil war in 1881.

The International Humanitarian Law class from 1-5 p.m. is an introductory course intended to raise awareness about the Geneva Conventions, the basic rules of International Humanitarian Law and the role of the Red Cross during armed conflict to implement the law. When signing the Geneva Conventions, the U.S. Government agreed to teach its citizens about the protections afforded under international humanitarian law. To accomplish this, Congress mandated the American Red Cross to assist in sharing this information with the public.

International Services provided by the American Red Cross in New Mexico include the Restoring Family Links program which provides assistance to families separated internationally by armed conflict, disaster or humanitarian emergencies. This includes tracing and location services, Red Cross messages, health and welfare inquiries, and information and referral services.

The Red Cross depends on the generosity of the American people to fulfill our mission. To help the Red Cross continue to save lives, contributions may be made to the American Red Cross Local Disaster Relief Fund by calling 1-800-560-2302. Contributions to the Local Disaster Relief Fund may also be sent to the American Red Cross in New Mexico by mail: American Red Cross in New Mexico, 7445 W. Pan American Fwy. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109, or made online at www.redcross.org/newmexico. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org