The International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Youth Action Campaign is an American Red Cross-sponsored program that encourages youth and young adults to learn about the rules of armed conflict and empowers them to explore issues in their communities through peer-to-peer education campaigns.
This year, recent high school graduate Nathaniel Drebin, a Red Cross volunteer and regional coordinator, accompanied the Los Angeles team to Washington D.C. for the Youth Action Campaign’s national summit.
“I saw the campaigns as an opportunity to get further involved with the Red Cross and could not have made a better decision in joining the IHL community,” said Drebin, noting that he has even connected with advocates from around the world.
Drebin said he has been inspired to become an advocate for many social issues through his involvement with the Youth Action Campaign. The skills he gained from the conference range from data analysis in Microsoft Excel to team management and collaboration.
When Drebin joined a Youth Action Campaign team, he said he was welcomed with open arms and felt a sense of community. Since becoming a regional coordinator, he has tried to foster a community feeling similar to what he experienced when first starting.
“I feel as though learning [through] IHL has made me more empathetic and considerate of others,” he said.
Drebin has been a volunteer since he participated in his high school's Red Cross club from the beginning of his freshman year. Among his duties was installing smoke alarms in homes.
“As I spoke with homeowners and saw their appreciation for our work, I knew I could make a positive impact through further involvement with the Red Cross, which has motivated my journey,” he said.
The next step in his journey is at Duke University. “I hope to take the skills I learned to continue promoting humanitarian justice on campus and in my new community and continue working in the international humanitarian field after I graduate,” he said.
Drebin strongly endorses IHL’s Youth Action Campaign as an option for young Red Cross volunteers.“There are so many different roles available to cater to your interests,” he said. “Whether you want to explore your social media marketing skills, work on your public speaking, develop campaign ideas and initiatives or learn how to reach new audiences, there’s a way for you to help your team.”